The word acute is used to refer to any condition, disease, or disorder that:

  • Develops quickly, i.e. has "rapid onset".
  • Has severe symptoms.
  • Does not persist for a long period of time, i.e. has a "short duration".

The word acute may also be used as an adjective to describe any intense symptom - such as severe pain.

For comparison, consider the meaning of the word: chronic.

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