- the act or faculty of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object.
- a concentration of the mind on a single object or thought, especially one preferentially selected from a complex, with a view to limiting or clarifying receptivity by narrowing the range of stimuli.
- a state of consciousness characterized by such concentration.
- a capacity to maintain selective or sustained concentration.
- observant care; consideration: Individual attention is given to each child.
- civility or courtesy: attention to a guest.
- notice or awareness: His deliberate cough caught the waiter's attention.
- attentions, acts of courtesy or devotion indicating affection, as in courtship.
- Military. an erect position with eyes to the front, arms to the sides, and heels together (often used as a command).
Origin of attention
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for attention
One witness said the gunfire began after a traffic collision, which drew the attention of a nearby police officer.France Mourns—and Hunts
Nico Hines, Christopher Dickey
January 8, 2015
First, they allow Paul to siphon off attention from whichever potential candidate is making news.Rand Paul’s Passive-Aggressive Trolling Campaign
January 6, 2015
In an effort to gain early attention, he focused his attention on the Iowa precinct caucuses, which had never mattered much.The World’s Toughest Political Quiz
December 31, 2014
“ADD [Attention Deficit Disorder] is just a euphemistic way of saying, ‘I have limits,’” Brown writes.Can Self-Help Books Really Make a New You?
December 29, 2014
Exactly why is unclear; their previous hacks seem to have just been for the Lulz (laughs in Internet-speak) and the attention.The Attack on the Hidden Internet
December 29, 2014
Another subject attracted her attention and occupied some share of her thoughts.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Harbour improvements have occupied much of the attention of Government.Explorations in Australia
Mrs. Rushton was pleased with this mark of attention, and after a slight demur, accepted.
And, if we do, it is doubtful if we can attract their attention.
Stepping into the store, he attracted the attention of the proprietor.
- concentrated direction of the mind, esp to a problem or task
- consideration, notice, or observationa new matter has come to our attention
- detailed care or special treatmentto pay attention to one's appearance
- (usually plural) an act of consideration, courtesy, or gallantry indicating affection or loveattentions given to a lover
- the motionless position of formal military alertness, esp in drill when an upright position is assumed with legs and heels together, arms to the sides, head and eyes facing to the front
- psychol the act of concentrating on any one of a set of objects or thoughtsSee also selective attention
- the order to be alert or to adopt a position of formal military alertness
Word Origin and History for attention
late 14c., "giving heed," from Latin attentionem (nominative attentio) "attention, attentiveness," noun of action from past participle stem of attendere "mental heeding" (see attend). Used with a remarkable diversity of verbs (e.g. pay, gather, attract, draw, call). As a military cautionary word preparative to giving a command, it is attested from 1792.
Idioms and Phrases with attention
see pay attention.