at·​ten·​tive | \ ə-ˈten-tiv How to pronounce attentive (audio) \

Definition of attentive

1 : mindful, observant attentive to what he is doing
2 : heedful of the comfort of others : solicitous an attentive waitress
3 : offering attentions in or as if in the role of a suitor an attentive boyfriend

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Other Words from attentive

attentively adverb
attentiveness noun

Examples of attentive in a Sentence

The hospital is proud of its attentive staff. Our waiter was very attentive.

Recent Examples on the Web

The experience includes attentive service, high-quality ingredients in the hands of a veteran kitchen and a menu of comfort foods. Houston Chronicle, "Houston's best steakhouses," 10 May 2018 Christopher Wylie blasted the social network on Tuesday as insufficiently attentive to the problems first revealed in the last election. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "On Election Day, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower is blasting Facebook for still not doing enough," 6 Nov. 2018 The Russian leader has been attentive to Mr. Erdogan’s security concerns on hope, analysts say, to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Turkey, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s second-largest military. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "Russia, Turkey Presidents Discuss Deeper Partnership in Syria," 23 Jan. 2019 In the meantime, the house has been transformed into a monument to attentive motherhood. Nathan Heller, Vogue, "Claire Foy on Becoming a Mother and Trading Her Crown for a Dragon Tattoo," 10 Oct. 2018 We're guided through various scenarios by an attentive trainer -- also brought in from Dubai. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "I joined Saudi women drivers on their first long and winding road trip," 19 July 2018 A few dozen local clergy, who have been the driving force behind Project Safe Start, echoed calls for responsible behavior by students and attentive supervision by parents ahead of the school year's end. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "In wake of Santa Fe, clergy, police push for civility on final week of school," 29 May 2018 By all accounts, Catholic Social Services has been one of those attentive agencies, offering foster care, via city referrals, to about 120 children per year. Ronnie Polaneczky,, "The shameful foster-care war between DHS and Catholic Social Services | Ronnie Polaneczky," 25 May 2018 Loyal customers basked in attentive service and a liberal return policy. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Why Nordstrom Is Betting on High-Touch Tech," 25 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for attentive

see attend

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Statistics for attentive

Last Updated

2 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attentive

The first known use of attentive was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for attentive



English Language Learners Definition of attentive

: thinking about or watching something carefully : paying careful attention to something
: very concerned about the needs of others


at·​ten·​tive | \ ə-ˈten-tiv How to pronounce attentive (audio) \

Kids Definition of attentive

1 : paying attention an attentive listener
2 : very thoughtful about the needs of others Mama was cordial and attentive to everyone, as if entertaining them gave her a purpose.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

Other Words from attentive

attentively adverb listened attentively

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Comments on attentive

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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