attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce attention (audio) ; 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 How to pronounce attentional (audio) \ 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

Those comments got the attention of David Castanon at the Army Corps’ Los Angeles office. Ian James, azcentral, "Federal agency stands by disputed decision on Arizona development near San Pedro River," 19 June 2019 The testimony came on the second day of Gallagher’s court-martial in a case that has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump and revealed a rare break in secrecy from those in the elite special forces. Washington Post, "Witness: Navy SEAL called dead prisoner an ‘ISIS dirtbag’," 19 June 2019 But when the time came for an announcement, Mr. Falwell rocked the Cruz campaign and grabbed the attention of the entire political world. Frances Robles, New York Times, "The Evangelical, the ‘Pool Boy,’ the Comedian and Michael Cohen," 18 June 2019 The plan gained the attention of Andrew Yang, a U.S. businessman who is also running for the Democratic presidential nomination. NBC News, "What Facebook's Libra could mean for consumers," 18 June 2019 The reports caught the attention of the Harvard admissions committee, according to a letter dated May 24 from Harvard that Mr. Kashuv posted on his Twitter feed. Douglas Belkin, WSJ, "Harvard Rescinds Parkland Shooting Survivor’s Admission Over Racist Texts," 17 June 2019 The pair instantly attracted the attention of photographers, inadvertently creating the season’s first big street style moment. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Irina Shayk and Stella Maxwell Are Modeling’s Most Stylish BFFs," 17 June 2019 The murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, affectionately called Mother Emanuel, focused the attention of the country. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "New Documentary on Charleston Church Shooting Looks at Faith, Forgiveness 4 Years Later," 17 June 2019 That landed Lawson on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team -- and drew the attention of opposing coaches. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al.com, "Carl Lawson planning ‘to be even better’ once he puts knee injury behind him," 17 June 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

22 Jun 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 How to pronounce attention (audio) \

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 How to pronounce attention (audio) \

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 How to pronounce attentional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on attention

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