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

Other Words from attention

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for attention

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web And while weeks after a major wildfire people might be willing to make changes to protect their property from damage, eventually their attention fades, according to Morgan. AZCentral.com, 23 June 2022 What recent developments have particularly caught your attention? Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 23 June 2022 Gordon had my full attention for his two-minute video, no easy feat in the sea of waving hands on Twitter. Reyhan Harmanci, New York Times, 23 June 2022 As the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies considers this week what programs to fund in the 2023 budget, many public health concerns will demand their attention. Carl Schmid, STAT, 23 June 2022 Once the draft concludes Thursday, the team will quickly turn its attention to filling out the roster that will play at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, with games July 9, 12, 13 and 15. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2022 What makes the article particularly necessary is its attention to the shadowy corners of Washington where the will of the people is so often thwarted. Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 Develop an opening sales pitch to capture their attention by stressing your top five selling points. Robin Ryan, Forbes, 22 June 2022 But world leaders have been focusing their attention elsewhere – on the war in Ukraine and a widening economic crisis. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near attention

attentate

attention

attention deficit disorder

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Statistics for attention

Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Attention.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attention. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for attention

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 attention (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on attention

Nglish: Translation of attention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of attention for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about attention

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