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.

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Synonyms for attitude


carriage, poise, posture, stance, station

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Penn says a positive attitude is equally important. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "The All-Women Sailing Crew Trying to Save the Ocean of Plastic," 27 Nov. 2018 Back when Tumblr was a scrappy startup housed in the offices of Frederator Studios — the company behind Adventure Time — this sort of attitude made sense. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook’s morale problem is getting worse," 6 Dec. 2018 Nearly two decades later, his attitude about the starring system still hasn't changed. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "Singapore's Newest Restaurant Doesn't Want Michelin to Review It," 13 Sep. 2018 Kate, who stayed at Jigsaw until November 2007, didn't let her royalish-by-association status change her attitude. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Had These Two Very Normal Jobs Before She Became a Royal," 19 Aug. 2018 The paper was a training ground for reporters who had little experience — or zero experience, but a lot of attitude, Mr. Marquardt said. New York Times, "5 People Dead in Shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom," 28 June 2018 Because anyone watching this current season of RHOC knows this has been Dodd's attitude for almost a year now. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Kelly Dodd Is Making Divorce Look Like a F*cking Blast," 27 Nov. 2018 But what made Sessions such an effective immigration-hawk-in-chief was his attitude toward policy change. Dara Lind, Vox, "Jeff Sessions’s carefully built deportation machine will outlast him," 8 Nov. 2018 While this isn’t the typical attitude for Twitch streamers, the idea was that there was something valid or potentially valuable about this less ingratiating approach. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The backlash to streamer with a ‘god complex’ reveals a big Twitch taboo," 31 Oct. 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.

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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

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Statistics for attitude

Last Updated

5 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attitude

The first known use of attitude was in 1668

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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)

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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).


marked by shyness and lack of polish

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