at·ti·tude | \ˈa-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Definition of attitude 

1 : the arrangement of the parts of a body or figure : posture depicted her in a reclining attitude

2 : a position assumed for a specific purpose a threatening attitude

3 : a ballet position similar to the arabesque in which the raised leg is bent at the knee

4a : a mental position with regard to a fact or state a helpful attitude

b : a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state a negative attitude an optimistic attitude

5 : the position of a craft (such as an aircraft or spacecraft) determined by the relationship between its axes and a reference datum (such as the horizon or a particular star)

6 : an bodily state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (such as an object, concept, or situation)

7a : a negative or hostile state of mind

b : a cool, cocky, defiant, or arrogant manner He was showing some attitude in practice today, so the coach benched him.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for attitude


carriage, poise, posture, stance, station

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of attitude in a Sentence

He has a positive attitude about the changes. She's friendly and has a good attitude. You need to change your bad attitude. There's been a change in his attitude since his accident. I don't know what her problem is. She has a real attitude. I suggest you get rid of that attitude and shape up. He was showing some attitude during practice today, so the coach benched him.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

And as is her style, Charlotte was clearly full of attitude during the Royal Air Force flypast. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Princess Charlotte Had Some Adorable Attitude During the Royal Air Force Flypast," 10 July 2018 The letter to Cook, who has for months been an outspoken critic of Facebook's attitude toward privacy, asks if Apple is engaged in similar practices. Washington Post,, "Lawmakers press Apple and Google on how they track and listen to smartphone users," 9 July 2018 His whole attitude, his whole demeanor toward the game, mind-set between games, is completely different. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "Here are Butler basketball's top 10 career scorers," 9 July 2018 There has never been a professional comedian with better stage presence, attitude, timing, or delivery. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "Learning to Be Funny," 9 July 2018 Yet his relentless focus on Putin’s individual role tends to obscure the broader evolution of attitudes toward the West within the Russian political establishment. Daniel Beer, New York Times, "Does Vladimir Putin Speak for the Russian People?," 6 July 2018 Serena Joy’s change of attitude is reflective of her feelings for the baby and general reverence for the idea of motherhood, not from any admittance of June’s humanity or acknowledgement of the injustices June has endured. Rena Gross, Billboard, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 12 Recap: 15 Reactions to 'Postpartum'," 4 July 2018 On the contrary, growing disillusionment has led to despair and a hardening of attitudes among people who had sought reconciliation with Israel for 25 years. NBC News, "Amid Trump's Mideast push, an abandoned building reminds Palestinians of past failures," 16 June 2018 Raymond was a man of boundless energy and positive attitude., "Raymond A. Ursin," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attitude.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of attitude

1668, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for attitude

French, from Italian attitudine, literally, aptitude, from Late Latin aptitudin-, aptitudo fitness — more at aptitude

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about attitude

Phrases Related to attitude

attitude problem

cop an attitude

Statistics for attitude

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attitude

The first known use of attitude was in 1668

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for attitude



English Language Learners Definition of attitude

: the way you think and feel about someone or something

: a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior

: a way of thinking and behaving that people regard as unfriendly, rude, etc.


at·ti·tude | \ˈa-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

Kids Definition of attitude

1 : a feeling or way of thinking that affects a person's behavior a positive attitude change your attitude

2 : a way of positioning the body or its parts an erect attitude He bowed in an attitude of respect.


at·ti·tude | \ˈat-ə-ˌt(y)üd \

Medical Definition of attitude 

1 : the arrangement of the parts of the body : posture

2a : a mental position with regard to a fact or state

b : a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state

3 : an organismic state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as an object, concept, or situation)

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on attitude

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


evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!