Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

attention

play
noun at·ten·tion \ə-ˈten(t)-shən; sense 4 often (ə-)ˌten(ch)-ˈhət\

Simple Definition of attention

  • : 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

  1. 1 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

  2. 2 :  observation, notice; especially :  consideration with a view to action <a problem requiring prompt attention>

  3. 3 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

  4. 4 :  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·alplay \-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.



Origin of attention

Middle English attencioun, from Latin attention-, attentio, from attendere


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with attention



ATTENTION Defined for Kids

attention

play
noun at·ten·tion \ə-ˈten-shən\

Definition of attention

  1. 1 :  the act or the power of fixing the mind on something :  careful listening or watching <Pay attention to what happens next.>

  2. 2 :  notice, interest, or awareness <attract attention>

  3. 3 :  careful thinking about something so as to be able to take action on it <This matter requires immediate attention.>

  4. 4 :  special care or treatment <His scrape did not require medical attention.>

  5. 5 :  an act of kindness or politeness <His hospitable attentions were brief … being confined to a shake of a hand … — Washington Irving, “Sleepy Hollow”>

  6. 6 :  the way a soldier stands with the body stiff and straight, heels together, and arms at the sides




Medical Dictionary

attention

play
noun at·ten·tion \ə-ˈten-chən\

Medical Definition of attention

  1. 1:  the act or state of attending :  the application of the mind to any object of sense or thought

  2. 2a:  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 stimulib:  the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others

  3. at·ten·tion·al \-ˈtench-nəl, -ˈten-chən-əl\play adjective





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up attention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ