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

Federal and state investigators criticized the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department for lax attention to safety. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 Kid-friendly music plays until 5 p.m. daily when a DJ battle begins and three artists will mix their own channel, vying for your attention and dance moves. Julia Sclafani And Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "All the new State Fair offerings: wine tastings, silent discos, coasters and acai bowls," 12 July 2018 But national attention to the issue has been inconsistent. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018 Adding a drug price might initially grab some attention. Craig Martin, STAT, "Why putting drug prices in ads is a bad idea," 11 July 2018 Our devices buzz and bleep for our attention all day long. Arielle Pardes, WIRED, "In the Age of Despair, Find Comfort on the ‘Slow Web’," 8 July 2018 In all these guises, Casanova was a confidence man, wheeling and dealing for attention and power in Rococo-era Europe — a time of immoderation. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 2018 The family is scheduled to appear at a press conference Tuesday calling for increased law enforcement attention. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "Muslim civil rights group seeks to call attention to alleged harassment of Iraqi refugee family in Dundalk," 3 July 2018 Members of the secret area show off, jockey for attention, and swap romantic attachments. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Kiss Me First has an unusually personal take on gamer culture," 29 June 2018

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

9 Nov 2018

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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