Name: acute
Adobe PS: acute
Unicode: 00B4, 0301
Languages: Afrikaans, Bosnian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Diné bizaad (Navajo), Dutch, English, Faroese, French, Greek - (ellenika), Hungarian, Icelandic, Inari Sámi, Irish, Italian, Lingala, Nnee biyátiʼ (Western Apache), Norwegian, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Sanskrit transliteration, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Vietnamese, Walloon, Welsh, Yoruba


History and examples of use

The acute has been used to denote the lengthening of vowels (á, é, í, ó, ú, ý) in Czech since the 14th century. It also denoted syllabic or long consonants (ŕ, ĺ) in Slovak.

In the 16th century, the acute first appeared in Hungarian with the characters á, é, í, ó, ú.

In Polish, acute (kreska) softens ć, ń, ś, ź; with ó, it alters the pronunciation.

In Icelandic, Portuguese and Irish, all vowels may appear with acute.

In Spanish, it is used to indicate the stress. In Vietnamese, the acute (or dấu sắc) is used to specify a rising tone.

In some tonal African languages, like Yoruba or Lingala, it is used to mark high tone on vowels or syllabic nasal consonants.


Acute denotes one of five tones in the pinyin latinised version of Mandarin Chinese.


In theory, the angle between the baseline and the acute may be arbitrary, from almost vertical to almost horizontal. However, in Polish, the acute should be rather vertical. An increasingly common solution for multilingual typefaces is to draw the acute acceptably for the Polish readers, so that there is no need to draw a special version of the Polish ó character. There is a wide-spread mistake, that the preference in Czech is for a more horizontal acute, but in fact, there is no such preference among Czech typographers. Important is the overall harmony and not the angle of the accent.

Horizontal placing of acute may prove difficult: it should incline towards the right slightly, but at the same time it should not “fall off” the character. The more steep the acute, the closer the lower tip can be to the optical centre of the letter; the more horizontal it is, the more the whole accent needs to be optically centered above the letter. The angle of the acute to the vertical axis of the type should be the same as of grave. Because characters with acute are included in most western typefaces, there are many examples as how to draw it properly. If the weight of the acute stroke varies, it should narrow towards the bottom