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

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 Styles, whose powder-blue suit was surprisingly toned down for the singer-actor, was extremely attentive to screaming fans — many of whom had been lined up outside the Sala Grande, in the punishing heat, since the early hours of the morning. Zack Sharf, Variety, 5 Sep. 2022 That marked a change from Cheney's past, when some allies described her as attentive to local issues. Brittany Shepherd, ABC News, 17 Aug. 2022 Donoghue’s prose is too attentive to the craggy beauty of the island and the flutterings of Trian’s heart to suggest the book is padded. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 16 Aug. 2022 There are some clunky bits in which the filmmakers aren’t attentive enough to details. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2022 In similar fashion, Tribune editors were attentive to gossip circulating in the Salvation Army’s tents. Ron Grossman, Chicago Tribune, 10 July 2022 Being attentive to realities like war is often painful, and people are not well-equipped to keep a sustained focus on ongoing or traumatic occurrences. Rebecca Rozelle-stone, The Conversation, 6 Sep. 2022 Roald Dahl, John Berger, and John le Carré were some of the writers who judged Rushdie to have been insufficiently attentive to clerical sensitivities in Tehran. David Remnick, The New Yorker, 28 Aug. 2022 Will those who can access genetic medicine remain attentive to the needs of those left behind? Laura Hercher, STAT, 27 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for attentive

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near attentive

attention span



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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Attentive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for attentive


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

More from Merriam-Webster on attentive

Nglish: Translation of attentive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of attentive for Arabic Speakers


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