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acute
used in The Scarlet Letter

2 meanings, 8 uses
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1  —2 uses as in:
acute pain
Definition
sharp (severe or strong) — usually negative
  • For an instant, the gaze of the horror-stricken multitude was concentrated on the ghastly miracle; while the minister stood, with a flush of triumph in his face, as one who, in the crisis of acutest pain, had won a victory.
    Chapter 23 — The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter (85% in)
acutest = sharpest (most severe)
  • It was immediately responded to by a light, airy, childish laugh, in which, with a thrill of the heart—but he knew not whether of exquisite pain, or pleasure as acute—he recognised the tones of little Pearl.
    Chapter 12 — The Minister's Vigil (47% in)
acute = sharp (intense)
There are no more uses of "acute" flagged with this meaning in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®
2  —6 uses as in:
acute sense of smell
Definition
sharp (highly perceptive in some area or mentally sharp)
  • But she said it with a hesitation that did not escape the acuteness of the child.
    Chapter 6 — Pearl (93% in)
acuteness = intelligence (sharpness or high perceptiveness)

(Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • His gifts were emphatically those of a man of business; prompt, acute, clear-minded; with an eye that saw through all perplexities, and a faculty of arrangement that made them vanish as by the waving of an enchanter's wand.
    Introductory (50% in)
  • acute = intelligent (sharp or perceptive)
  • If, heretofore, I had been none of the warmest of partisans I began now, at this season of peril and adversity, to be pretty acutely sensible with which party my predilections lay; nor was it without something like regret and shame that, according to a reasonable calculation of chances, I saw my own prospect of retaining office to be better than those of my democratic brethren.
    Introductory (92% in)
  • acutely = sharply (highly)
  • But now the idea came strongly into Hester's mind, that Pearl, with her remarkable precocity and acuteness, might already have approached the age when she could have been made a friend, and intrusted with as much of her mother's sorrows as could be imparted, without irreverence either to the parent or the child.
    Chapter 15 — Hester and Pearl (70% in)
  • acuteness = sharpness (intelligence)

    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • "Doth he love us?" said Pearl, looking up with acute intelligence into her mother's face.
    Chapter 19 — The Child at the Brookside (84% in)
  • acute = sharp
  • Sad, indeed, that an introspection so profound and acute as this poor minister's should be so miserably deceived!
    Chapter 20 — The Minister in a Maze (14% in)
acute = sharp (highly perceptive or intelligent)
There are no more uses of "acute" flagged with this meaning in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®