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

That has investors and bankers paying close attention to developments in this obscure yet vital part of the debt market, because repo trades are a key component of a new borrowing benchmark designed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Daniel Kruger And Telis Demos, WSJ, "The Benchmark Set to Replace Libor Suffers Volatility Spike," 11 Feb. 2019 Coldwell Banker Realtor Melissa Leonard initially posted the full house tour, but all the attention has caused many sites to remove the photos from the listings. Lindsey Ramsey, House Beautiful, "The Listing For This House Included Photos Of Its 50-Shades Inspired Adult Playroom," 9 Feb. 2019 Louis was born in Westminster and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa with his sisters (apparently to escape media attention), and still travels around the world. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meet Louis Spencer, the Young, Hot, Eligible Nephew of Princess Diana," 6 Feb. 2019 Brown's death calls to attention the worrying trend of dangerous and potentially life-threatening accidents with e-cigarettes. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Texas Man Dies After Exploding E-Cigarette Sends Shrapnel into His Neck," 5 Feb. 2019 Before his baby brother arrived, Isaiah was a bit nervous about sharing his mom's attention. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "A Body Language Expert Analyzes Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher With Their New Baby Boy," 27 Jan. 2019 Cary saw the attention that his brother received after returning home and their relationship was never the same, according to TIME. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "The True Story Behind Cary Stayner's Murders and His Brother Steven's Legacy," 25 Jan. 2019 Victoria accentuated her svelte figure with a snakeskin-print button-up blouse tucked into a pair of attention-grabbing, wide-leg red trousers (from her namesake clothing line). Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria and David Beckham Look Uber Stylish For a Double Date with son Brooklyn Beckham in New York," 25 Jan. 2019 If, for example, your loved one is gradually forgetting more words and places or has increasingly poor judgment, these would be things to document and bring to the attention of the person’s health care provider. Jacqueline Andriakos, SELF, "How to Provide Quality Care for Someone You Love With Alzheimer’s," 4 Dec. 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

16 Feb 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 \

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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