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

So, scanning across the genome, those variants that pop up as being different between the two groups are worth paying attention to. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Large genetic study finds first genes connected with ADHD," 27 Nov. 2018 The prison is Sheridan’s largest employer, though the town of 6,000 has paid little attention to the migrant issue, the mayor said. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "In a prison and a temple, Oregonians help detained migrants," 23 Oct. 2018 The Navy truncated the program to just 3 subs, each of which cost $4.4 billion each, and turned its attention to developing the smaller, more versatile, more affordable Virginia class. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy’s Next Attack Submarine Will Be Big, Expensive," 22 Oct. 2018 Which aspect of gun violence doesn't get enough attention? Kaitlin Menza, Redbook, "Everything You Need to Know Before Voting in the Midterm Elections," 10 Oct. 2018 Barletta paid little attention to his Republican rival, state Rep. Jim Christiana, during the primary campaign. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Barletta, Trump backer, wins GOP nod to take on Sen. Casey," 2 Oct. 2018 Florida’s recount has drawn national attention, with Republicans crying foul and claiming voter fraud and Democrats asking that every vote be counted. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The 2018 midterm races that still aren’t over," 14 Nov. 2018 In the weeks leading up to the vote, Benioff drew national attention to the campaign by publicly spatting with other tech titans who publicly opposed Prop C, including Jack Dorsey, Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and Zynga founder Mark Pincus. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "San Francisco has passed a first-of-its-kind tax on big businesses — like Square and Stripe — to help the homeless," 7 Nov. 2018 Richard Barnes Glimpsed from the edge of the path to the Twombly Gallery, that corner lassos your attention, pulling you south across the yard to the first of the building’s three courtyards. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "A museum grows in Houston," 1 Nov. 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

7 Dec 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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