"regard" , "acute" in the sentence


This paragraph is from Cambridge IELTS 8, Test 2 Passage 3,
"In spite of its importance to our emotional and sensoty lives, smell is probably the most undervalued sense in many cultures. The reason often given for the low regard in which smell is held is that, in comparison wiith its importance among animals, the human sense of smell is feeble and undeveloped. While it is true that the olfactory powers of humans are nothing like as fine as those possedssed by certain animals, they are still remarkably acute. ..
(The meaning and power of smell)

I found in the online Cambridge dictionary that 'regard' means respect or admiration for someone or something. Thus, does low regard in the para above mean not respect much??
And I do not understand the meaning of the word 'acute' in the last sentence!
Could you please explain the entire paragraph
for me! Thank you in advance!
  • Trochfa

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Hi Pandawii, welcome to the forum! :)

    The idea is that smell, as a sense, is thought much less of than the other senses. It is not particularly admired or respected, in the sense of being highly valued like sight or hearing, and is thus considered to be of much less importance.

    2.1 (of a physical sense or faculty) highly developed; keen.
    acute | Definition of acute in English by Oxford Dictionaries

    If someone/something can hear things really well they may be said to have "an acute sense of hearing". This means they can hear things particularly well. The same can be said about the sense of smell. If someone/something has an acute sense of smell it means they can detect/recognise smells very well or easily. Their sense of smell is well developed.

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