Rather recent onset or somewhat rapid change. The term “subacute” is used in contrast to acute which indicates very sudden onset or rapid change and chronic which indicates indefinite duration or virtually no change. A chronic condition is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. In ancient Greece, the “father of medicine” Hippocrates distinguished diseases that were acute (abrupt, sharp and brief) from those that were chronic. This is still a very useful distinction. Subacute has been coined to designate the mid-ground between acute and chronic.
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Between acute and chronic; denoting the course of a disease of moderate duration or severity.

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sub·acute .səb-ə-'kyüt adj
1) falling between acute and chronic in character esp. when closer to acute <\subacute endocarditis>
2) less marked in severity or duration than a corresponding acute state <\subacute pain>
sub·acute·ly adv

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describing a disease that progresses more rapidly than a chronic condition but does not become acute.

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sub·acute (sub″ə-kūtґ) somewhat acute; between acute and chronic.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • subacute — [sub΄ə kyo͞ot′] adj. 1. somewhat acute; nearly pointed [subacute angle] 2. between acute and chronic [a subacute disease] subacutely adv …   English World dictionary

  • Subacute — Sub a*cute , a. Moderalely acute. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • subacute — 1752, from SUB (Cf. sub ) + ACUTE (Cf. acute) …   Etymology dictionary

  • subacute — adjective Date: 1822 1. having a tapered but not sharply pointed form < subacute leaves > 2. a. falling between acute and chronic in character especially when closer to acute < subacute endocarditis > b. less marked in severity or duration than a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • subacute — sub•a•cute [[t]ˌsʌb əˈkyut[/t]] adj. somewhat or moderately acute: a subacute fever[/ex] • Etymology: 1745–55 sub a•cute′ly, adv …   From formal English to slang

  • subacute —    Having characteristics of both acute and chronic. This is the state in a disease when most of the aches and pains have subsided and you are likely to overdo things and not completely recover. The chest cold that lingers for weeks as a stubborn …   Herbal-medical glossary

  • subacute — Description of a disease that progresses more rapidly than a chronic disease and more slowly than an acute one …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • subacute — subacutely, adv. /sub euh kyooht /, adj. somewhat or moderately acute. [1745 55; SUB + ACUTE] * * * …   Universalium

  • subacute — adjective a) Less than acute b) Having a pointed tip, but with a broad or slightly rounded angle …   Wiktionary

  • subacute — adj. moderately severe, somewhat acute (Medicine) …   English contemporary dictionary

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