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?
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 The troops stood at attention. = The troops stood to attention. —often used as a command
attentionalplay \-ˈten(t)-sh(ə-)nəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of attention from the Web
Few pay any attention to it: Astronomers researching the tiny rock often see their results smothered by the hype surrounding far lamer bodies like Pluto and Europa.
Focusing more attention on children before things can go wrong is the most efficient way to combat juvenile crime.
The contest exceeded those expectations, generating nearly 28,000 votes, reaching more than 100 million Twitter accounts and gaining the attention of fans, athletes and celebrities.
With Germany's elections drawing closer, Merkel has been forced to turn her attention to her own voters - most of whom loathe Trump and staunchly oppose increasing defense spending, one of his key demands.
TigerSwan pays particular attention to protesters of Middle Eastern descent.
Kushner’s dealings with Russia have drawn the attention of FBI agents conducting the probe, according to a person familiar with the inquiry who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Inmates with breathing issues received medical attention.
To be fair to the product designers, capturing in plastic the hirsute attributes that have become the obsession of Harington's many millions of fans probably requires a level of attention reserved for conservators at the Louvre.
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.
Origin and Etymology of attention
Middle English attencioun, from Latin attention-, attentio, from attendere —see attend
First Known Use: 14th century
ATTENTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of attention for English Language Learners
: the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something
: notice, interest, or awareness
: special care or treatment
ATTENTION Defined for Kids
Definition of attention for Students
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
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 stimulib: the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others
attentional\-ˈtench-nəl, -ˈten-chən-əl\play adjective
Learn More about attention
See words that rhyme with attention Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for attention Spanish Central: Translation of attention Nglish: Translation of attention for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of attention for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about attention
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up attention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).