at·​ten·​tive | \ə-ˈten-tiv \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for attentive


alert, Argus-eyed, awake, observant, open-eyed, tenty (also tentie) [Scottish], vigilant, watchful, wide-awake



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Examples of attentive in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps one child is not as financially successful, or was more attentive in the parents’ final years. Liz Weston, The Seattle Times, "How to write a will that won’t trigger a family feud," 24 Sep. 2018 Longer journeys overnight would be possible with the sleeper configuration, which—with the exception of an attentive cabin crew and a bathroom—rivals the most luxurious first class airplane seat. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "This Volvo concept could replace planes and trains with the automobile," 14 Sep. 2018 The tasting menus are all a great choice, taking curry and spices to an extraordinary new level; the drinks are heavenly (sometimes too heavenly); and the service is attentive and friendly. Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Indian Restaurants in London," 27 Feb. 2018 Be particularly attentive to relationships, and how even battles with beloveds can become powerful learnings in humanness. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes Aug 13-19," 11 Aug. 2018 For the next four weeks, be extremely attentive to whatever crosses your desk. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What August's Cancer Horoscope Means for You," 30 July 2018 Those rarefied club grounds, as photographer David Abrahams reveals with his attentive lens, become a meeting place for the young and the old, the professional the the amateur, and the tourist and the local. David Abrahams, Vogue, "At a Wimbledon Full of Unprecedented Twists and Turns, Scenes From On and Off the Court," 13 July 2018 Spare two-top and four-top tables line the long space, which can come off as cold and industrial, but manager (and Park’s wife) Ellia Park brings in the warmth with friendly, attentive service. Bon Appetit, "Atoboy," 25 June 2018 Scott Disick has been an (image-wise) attentive boyfriend to Sofia Richie after a recent rumor that the two had split. Morgan Baila,, "Is It Just Me, Or Are The Kardashians Really Quiet Right Now?," 25 June 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

28 Nov 2018

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 \

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
attentiveness noun

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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 enclose within walls

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