attention span


Definition of attention span

: the length of time during which one (such as an individual or a group) is able to concentrate or remain interested

Examples of attention span in a Sentence

people with short attention spans

Recent Examples on the Web

Yet the internet — the same force that has increased awareness of social-justice movements — has hyperbolized all entreaties to our fragmented attention spans. Lauren Oyler, New York Times, "What Do We Mean When We Call Art ‘Necessary’?," 8 May 2018 Want to look like the intellectual type who gobbles up Shakespeare and historical biographies but only have the attention span for a Netflix special? Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Please Stop Ruining Your Bookshelves with These Dumb Design Ideas," 12 Mar. 2019 There has been significant interest in how long this movement led by the Parkland students will last, especially given the short attention span of Washington. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Parkland’s David Hogg challenges students to remain activists, even if they don’t go to college," 30 Mar. 2018 The second believes lengthy classroom sessions no longer work well, maintaining players' attention spans don’t allow for effective learning under those setups. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "UCLA's Josh Rosen hardly first Millennial who could challenge NFL coaches," 5 Apr. 2018 Since the advent of the smartphone, students in general have shorter attention spans and less impulse control. WSJ, "Fed-Up Teachers Take Their Chances Elsewhere," 4 Jan. 2019 The book includes testimonials from former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and others that paint a picture of the president as a semi-literate ball of rage with a non-existent attention span who is cognitively declining before our eyes. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Concerns About Ronald Reagan’s Mental Health Were Handled Very Differently Than Trump’s," 14 Jan. 2018 Helene Stapinski writes about how Instagram helped her understand her 15-year-old daughter: Social media has been blamed for ruining our democracy, shortening our children’s attention spans and undermining the fabric of society. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s role in the French protests has polarized observers," 11 Dec. 2018 There’s a tour for practically every curiosity and attention span. Rick Steves' Europe, The Seattle Times, "Specialized tours enrich travel," 14 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attention span.' 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 span

1903, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for attention span

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for attention span

The first known use of attention span was in 1903

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More Definitions for attention span

attention span


English Language Learners Definition of attention span

: the length of time during which someone is able to think about or remain interested in something

More from Merriam-Webster on attention span

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with attention span

Comments on attention span

What made you want to look up attention span? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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