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

Getting special attention at this year’s festival will be Detroit’s Fearless Tribe of Fanatic Filmmakers, a group of 25 indie filmmakers devoted to filming more stories about people of color and showing those films in settings other than theaters. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "The weekend: Dream Cruise, Renaissance fest in Holly, Michigan Comic Convention at Cobo," 14 Aug. 2019 Advocates for the riding crop, or whip, say the newest ones are just a noise maker to get a horse’s attention. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Pacific Classic looking to be competitive," 14 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Washington State’s Mike Leach and Arizona State’s Herm Edwards have compelling personalities, which have garnered attention over the years. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "Alabama being considered for college version of HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks,’ per reports," 14 Aug. 2019 The case gained international attention, including from President Donald Trump. Nick Romano, EW.com, "A$AP Rocky found guilty of assault in Swedish court, won't face more jail time," 14 Aug. 2019 The Hong Kong Police Force said in a tweet that at least one person was injured and required immediate medical attention but that protesters were blocking ambulance access. NBC News, "Hong Kong protesters say sorry as after violent protests at airport," 14 Aug. 2019 In the light of such high-profile posturing, Farage has had to gain attention by other means: this week, by denigrating members of the Royal Family to a gathering of Sydney’s Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "The Royal Family Gets Drawn Deeper Into the Brexit Maelstrom," 14 Aug. 2019 Blockbuster video games have grown steadily bigger, if fewer in number, with titles such as Fornite and Red Dead Redemption 2 demanding more time and attention than ever before. Lewis Gordon, The Verge, "Patreon has become a lifeline for creators of weird, alternative games," 14 Aug. 2019 These jarring, tragic events have cast new attention on the rise of extremist behavior in the United States. Tovin Lapan, Fortune, "Domestic Terrorism Is Likely to Grow, Experts Warn," 14 Aug. 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

17 Aug 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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