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

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

Never been the focus of attention, particularly given the vast array of weapons in the Kansas City offense. Washington Post, "Chiefs’ Demarcus Robinson steps up in Tyreek Hill’s absence," 17 Sep. 2019 The unveiling ceremony prompted a wave of media attention, a visit from President Bill Clinton, and a fund-raising drive. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 And about five or so faces into that roster — not so prominent as to draw immediate attention, not so buried as to suggest deliberate camouflage — voters were greeted by a smiling mayor. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Kamala Harris Was Ready to Brawl From the Beginning," 15 Sep. 2019 Fake food products tend to get less attention, in part because the producers of the real stuff often lack resources to pursue counterfeiters. Los Angeles Times, "The Kona coffee you buy from Costco and Walmart? It might be fake," 15 Sep. 2019 The report also states the F.B.I. interviewed none of the 25 individuals, brought by Ramirez’s legal team to the agency’s attention, who may have had corroborating evidence in her allegations. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "New York 'Times' Report Details New Justice Brett Kavanaugh Sexual Misconduct Claims," 15 Sep. 2019 Throughout the three debates so far, however, the subject has received little attention, and details about how exactly candidates would reform that link are scant. Adam Harris, The Atlantic, "The Missing Education Questions in the Democratic Debate," 13 Sep. 2019 After the stunts drew widespread attention, Disney's Maker Studios and YouTube severed business ties with him. NBC News, "Top YouTuber PewDiePie cancels $50,000 pledge to Anti-Defamation League, calls it 'mistake'," 13 Sep. 2019 Cabinets may get all the attention, but deep drawers can often be more functional. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "A Kitchen Designer Shares His Tricks for an Always-Tidy Space," 11 Sep. 2019

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

12 Oct 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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