noun \ə-ˈten(t)-shən; sense 4 often (ə-)ˌten(ch)-ˈhət\

: the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something

: notice, interest, or awareness

: special care or treatment

Full Definition of ATTENTION

a :  the act or state of applying the mind to something
b :  a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity
:  observation, notice; especially :  consideration with a view to action <a problem requiring prompt attention>
a :  an act of civility or courtesy especially in courtship <she welcomed his attentions>
b :  sympathetic consideration of the needs and wants of others :  attentiveness
:  a position assumed by a soldier with heels together, body erect, arms at the sides, and eyes to the front —often used as a command
at·ten·tion·al \-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)nəl\ adjective

Examples of ATTENTION

  1. We focused our attention on this particular poem.
  2. My attention wasn't really on the game.
  3. You need to pay more attention in school.
  4. She likes all the attention she is getting from the media.
  5. The actor avoids drawing attention to himself.
  6. The book has received national attention.
  7. The trial is getting a lot of public attention.
  8. The children were competing for the teacher's attention.
  9. A cat on a leash is sure to attract attention.
  10. I would like to call your attention to a problem we are having.


Middle English attencioun, from Latin attention-, attentio, from attendere
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with ATTENTION


noun \ə-ˈten-chən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of ATTENTION

: the act or state of attending : the application of the mind to any object of sense or thought
a : an organismic condition of selective awareness or perceptual receptivity; specifically : the complex of neuromuscular adjustments that permit maximum excitability or responsiveness to a given class of stimuli b : the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others
at·ten·tion·al \-ˈtench-nəl, -ˈten-chən-əl\ adjective


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In psychology, the act or state of applying the mind to an object of sense or thought. Wilhelm Wundt was perhaps the first psychologist to study attention, distinguishing between broad and restricted fields of awareness. He was followed by William James, who emphasized active selection of stimuli, and Ivan Pavlov, who noted the role attention plays in activating conditioned reflexes. John B. Watson sought to define attention not as an “inner” process but rather as a behavioral response to specific stimuli. Psychologists today consider attention against a background of “orienting reflexes” or “preattentive processes,” whose physical correlates include changes in the voltage potential of the cerebral cortex and in the electrical activity of the skin, increased cerebral blood flow, pupil dilation, and muscular tightening. See also attention deficit disorder.


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