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 \ ə-​ˈten(t)-​sh(ə-​)nəl How to pronounce attentional (audio) \ adjective

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 Michael Clay Carey’s The News Untold, an ethnographic study of journalism in three small rural Appalachian communities, offers the hope that such papers could draw badly needed attention to poverty. Nicholas Lemann, The New York Review of Books, "Can Journalism Be Saved?," 11 Feb. 2020 Anyone who had been paying attention to the Spurs’ rodeo trip script knew what was coming next. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Dejounte Murray’s career high helps San Antonio Spurs stop bleeding," 11 Feb. 2020 Election watchers will be sure to pay attention to whether those low numbers endure after the New Hampshire proceedings. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for February 10: Oscars, coronavirus, 2020 Dems, White House, Thailand," 10 Feb. 2020 The model's iconic runway appearance captured the attention of attendees and online fans alike. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Bella Hadid Just Shut Down the Runway in a Completely Sheer Gown for Tom Ford," 8 Feb. 2020 Yesterday’s decision by the University of Los Andes (Uniandes) in Bogotá is the latest turn in a 15-month controversy that has divided the private school’s biology department, catalyzed protests, and attracted the attention of Colombia’s media. Lindzi Wessel, Science | AAAS, "Colombian university fires prominent biologist accused of sexual harassment," 7 Feb. 2020 Greenup County Jailer Mike Worthington attracted the attention of state auditors in a report released last year. R.g. Dunlop, ProPublica, "How These Jail Officials Profit From Selling E-Cigarettes to Inmates," 7 Feb. 2020 This compact, lightweight stroller is perfect for on-the-go infants and young toddlers — just pay special attention to the weight restrictions. Laurie Jennings, Good Housekeeping, "36 Tips for How to Travel With Kids That Will Save Your Next Family Vacation," 4 Feb. 2020 People started paying attention to this small kid who could shoot. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "This is Larry Bird's lawyer and he is an absolute character," 1 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for attention

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for attention

Last Updated

16 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Attention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attention. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for attention

attention

noun
How to pronounce attention (audio)

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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