attention

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

Definition of attention

1a : the act or state of applying the mind to something Our attention was on the game. You should pay attention to what she says.
b : a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity Students, do I have your attention?
2 : observation, notice especially : consideration with a view to action a problem requiring prompt attention
3a : an act of civility or courtesy especially in courtship She welcomed his attentions.
b : sympathetic consideration of the needs and wants of others : attentiveness She lavished attention on her children.
4 : a position assumed by a soldier with heels together, body erect, arms at the sides, and eyes to the front (US) The troops stood at attention. = (British) The troops stood to attention. often used as a command

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Other Words from attention

attentional \ -​ˈten(t)-​sh(ə-​)nəl \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for attention

Synonyms

absorption, concentration, engrossment, enthrallment, immersion

Antonyms

inattention

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Examples of attention in a Sentence

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

One in particular who has caught our attention is Animaro. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "This Shapeshifting Clock Changes Design As It Approaches Noon," 9 Jan. 2019 But though White House press pool reporters were sworn to secrecy, bloggers and aviation enthusiasts drew attention to the president’s mystery trip on Twitter and prompted speculation about his whereabouts. Alexia Underwood, Vox, "Trump’s secret trip to Iraq didn’t quite go as planned," 27 Dec. 2018 Doctors were initially baffled, but friends posted her symptoms to a Usenet group, drawing attention to Zhu Ling's plight—likely the first telemedicine trial. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Study brings us one step closer to solving 1994 thallium poisoning case," 25 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Shirkers on Netflix and Minding the Gap on Hulu drew almost as much attention from critics as the service’s scripted shows. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 10 best documentaries of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 The current administration has taken minimal action to remedy the crisis, focusing its attention on the Opportunity Zone program, which is pitched as a community development tool and tax windfall. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Elizabeth Warren doubles down on affordable housing legislation," 11 Dec. 2018 The irony of her song choice was not lost on fans, but there was something else about her performance that drew even more attention: Kelly sang live. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson's Performance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Has Everyone Talking," 26 Nov. 2018 This is a wonderful time to focus your attention inward and reflect on your relationships, responsibilities, and — perhaps most importantly — boundaries. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What November's Leo Horoscope Means for You," 28 Oct. 2018 But squeezed by the same forces, all military branches must sweeten their enlistment deals, adding sign-up and retention bonuses and loosening medical standards on childhood conditions like asthma and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Dave Philipps, The Seattle Times, "The Army, in need of recruits, turns focus to Seattle, other liberal-leaning cities," 2 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attention.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of attention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for attention

Middle English attencioun, from Latin attention-, attentio, from attendere — see attend

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Statistics for attention

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attention

The first known use of attention was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for attention

attention

noun

English Language Learners 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

attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten-shən \

Kids Definition of attention

1 : the act or the power of fixing the mind on something : careful listening or watching Pay attention to what happens next.
2 : notice, interest, or awareness attract attention
3 : careful thinking about something so as to be able to take action on it This matter requires immediate attention.
4 : special care or treatment His scrape did not require medical attention.
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 : the way a soldier stands with the body stiff and straight, heels together, and arms at the sides

attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten-chən \

Medical Definition of attention

1 : the act or state of attending : the application of the mind to any object of sense or thought
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 stimuli
b : the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others

Other Words from attention

attentional \ -​ˈtench-​nəl, -​ˈten-​chən-​ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on attention

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