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

Adrienne Kaori Walters is dotingly attentive and kind as Emma, but with the nagging sadness of unrequited love. Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, "Review: Delightful ‘Language Archive’ finds TheatreWorks on a roll," 15 July 2019 That's interesting, in light of controversy (and a pending lawsuit) about whether Autopilot is safe to use when a driver is not fully attentive and able to take the wheel. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "Elon Musk Tweets Tacit Approval of Porn Video Shot in Tesla Model X on Autopilot," 10 May 2019 Yet the Cleveland audience was raptly attentive and cheered the musicians to the echo. Michael Thaddeus, The New York Review of Books, "Michael Thaddeus," 24 Feb. 2019 Sammy has been touring a lot recently, and finds that house-party crowds are more respectful, and crowds in bars are less attentive and more likely to misgender her. Charlie Jane Anders, Teen Vogue, "7 Trans Performers Share the Challenges They Still Face and Their Hopes for the Future," 17 Dec. 2018 An imbalance of electrolytes from a lack of fluids can cause irritability and confusion, so caregivers need to be attentive to changes in their loved ones’ behavior, Cuas said. Tess Vrbin,, "This weekend’s heat wave could be especially risky for the elderly," 19 July 2019 The small enrollment enables the school to be incredibly nimble, according to Babcock, allowing the administration to be attentive to every student. Ysabelle Kempe,, "Map Academy in Plymouth provides another road to graduation," 25 June 2019 And while having stakes in a vote may make someone more attentive than someone whose future doesn’t depend on what happens there, voters shouldn’t aim to secure their narrow interests. New York Times, "Must I Honor My Dad’s Gifts to Political Groups?," 26 June 2018 More caution should be exercised with outdoor activity, and be attentive to hydration. Matt Rogers, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Settling into a hot and dry stretch, with fluctuating humidity," 25 June 2019

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

8 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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