attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce attention (audio) , sense 4 often (ə-)ˌten(ch)-ˈhət\

Definition of attention

1a : the act or state of applying the mind to something Our attention was on the game. You should pay attention to what she says.
b : a condition of readiness for such attention involving especially a selective narrowing or focusing of consciousness and receptivity Students, do I have your attention?
2 : observation, notice especially : consideration with a view to action a problem requiring prompt attention
3a : an act of civility or courtesy especially in courtship She welcomed his attentions.
b : sympathetic consideration of the needs and wants of others : attentiveness She lavished attention on her children.
4 : a position assumed by a soldier with heels together, body erect, arms at the sides, and eyes to the front (US) The troops stood at attention. = (British) The troops stood to attention. often used as a command

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Other Words from attention

attentional \ ə-​ˈten(t)-​sh(ə-​)nəl How to pronounce attentional (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for attention

Synonyms

absorption, concentration, engrossment, enthrallment, immersion

Antonyms

inattention

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Examples of attention in a Sentence

We focused our attention on this particular poem. My attention wasn't really on the game. You need to pay more attention in school. She likes all the attention she is getting from the media. The actor avoids drawing attention to himself. The book has received national attention. The trial is getting a lot of public attention. The children were competing for the teacher's attention. A cat on a leash is sure to attract attention. I would like to call your attention to a problem we are having.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The hashtag #BlueGirl sprung up, bringing attention to the plight of female soccer fans. BostonGlobe.com, "For this simple dream she paid with her life.," 11 Sep. 2019 Against this backdrop, investors will be paying close attention to the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for September on Friday at 10 am ET. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow and S&P 500 are set to add to their winning streak," 9 Sep. 2019 Americans are addicted to snacks, and food experts are paying closer attention to what that might mean for health and obesity. NBC News, "Americans love snacks. What does that mean for their health?," 9 Sep. 2019 The safety didn’t pay any attention to Autman-Bell out wide on the same side of the field. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers’ passing game working around defenses’ focus on Tyler Johnson," 9 Sep. 2019 Supporters of the interstate compact have promised to fight the ballot question bringing additional national attention to the state’s 2020 election. Nic Garcia, The Denver Post, "Can these three Republicans save the Colorado GOP from obscurity?," 8 Sep. 2019 While Trump hurls insults, the long-shot challengers are bringing attention to government spending and other issues. Steve Mollman, Quartz, "Mark Sanford will battle Donald Trump in the Republican primary," 8 Sep. 2019 Public officials and others in Alabama are bringing new attention to the problem. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "University of Alabama studying isolation as factor in veterans suicides," 8 Sep. 2019 And those who have been paying attention to women’s tennis have seen it all year. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Serena Williams sees a lot of herself in emerging star Bianca Andreescu," 7 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'attention.' 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 attention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for attention

Middle English attencioun, from Latin attention-, attentio, from attendere — see attend

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Statistics for attention

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attention

The first known use of attention was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for attention

attention

noun

English Language Learners Definition of attention

: the act or power of carefully thinking about, listening to, or watching someone or something
: notice, interest, or awareness
: special care or treatment

attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten-shən How to pronounce attention (audio) \

Kids Definition of attention

1 : the act or the power of fixing the mind on something : careful listening or watching Pay attention to what happens next.
2 : notice, interest, or awareness attract attention
3 : careful thinking about something so as to be able to take action on it This matter requires immediate attention.
4 : special care or treatment His scrape did not require medical attention.
5 : an act of kindness or politeness His hospitable attentions were brief … being confined to a shake of a hand …— Washington Irving, “Sleepy Hollow”
6 : the way a soldier stands with the body stiff and straight, heels together, and arms at the sides

attention

noun
at·​ten·​tion | \ ə-ˈten-chən How to pronounce attention (audio) \

Medical Definition of attention

1 : the act or state of attending : the application of the mind to any object of sense or thought
2a : an organismic condition of selective awareness or perceptual receptivity specifically : the complex of neuromuscular adjustments that permit maximum excitability or responsiveness to a given class of stimuli
b : the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others

Other Words from attention

attentional \ -​ˈtench-​nəl, -​ˈten-​chən-​ᵊl How to pronounce attentional (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on attention

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