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

Recession fears have captured the markets’ attention in recent weeks, but some investors say the bigger impact could be a surprise return to growth. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "A Growth Surprise Could Shock Markets," 8 Apr. 2019 The video showed North singing along to the music, which captured her father's attention. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "North West Snatched the Mic and Performed with Kanye West at His Sunday Service," 8 Apr. 2019 The attention on agricultural communities and issues is the result of a recognition that Democrats need to do more to win over rural voters, especially in places like Iowa. Alexandra Jaffe, The Seattle Times, "Warren, Klobuchar agree on breaking up Big Ag," 1 Apr. 2019 But Jameela, who started the Instagram page I_Weigh to call attention to the fact that people's worth isn't based on their weight, didn't stop after that. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Jameela Jamil Called Out Khloé Kardashian and a Detox Tea Company For Promoting Unhealthy Products," 21 Mar. 2019 Otherwise known as Peruvian lilies, these long-lasting, attention-grabbing petals represent friendship and devotion, Law says. Carly Orleach, Woman's Day, "How to Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer," 15 Feb. 2019 Any Silicon Valley titans envisioning themselves as political kingmakers should pay close attention. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "Reid Hoffman is learning an early rule of being a megadonor: It’s hard to keep track of your money," 26 Dec. 2018 While verbalizing enjoyment and consent is imperative, paying attention to a partner’s body language is key, too. Gigi Engle, SELF, "We Asked 15 People With Vaginas How to Make Oral Sex Even Better," 11 Mar. 2019 Super Cruise uses a driver-facing camera to determine if the driver is paying attention to the road. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "The hype around driverless cars came crashing down in 2018," 30 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

13 Apr 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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