characterized by or giving attention; observant: an attentive audience.
thoughtful of others; considerate; polite; courteous: an attentive host.

Origin of attentive

1375–1425; late Middle English (Scots) < Middle French; see attent, -ive
Related formsat·ten·tive·ly, adverbat·ten·tive·ness, nouno·ver·at·ten·tive, adjectiveo·ver·at·ten·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·at·ten·tive·ness, nounun·at·ten·tive, adjectiveun·at·ten·tive·ly, adverbun·at·ten·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms for attentive

Antonyms for attentive Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for attentiveness

Contemporary Examples of attentiveness

Historical Examples of attentiveness

  • He answered, looking down into her eyes, which were full of attentiveness.

    At Fault

    Kate Chopin.

  • He was assured then of their attentiveness and protected from their interruption.

    The Bishop's Apron

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • The kindness and attentiveness of this man are simply wonderful.

  • All this cordial kindness and attentiveness were putting him at his ease.

    The Woman of Mystery

    Maurice Leblanc

  • He understood her attentiveness to his comfort when she touched his arm and begged a word with him.


    Jane Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for attentiveness



paying attention; listening carefully; observant
(postpositive often foll by to) careful to fulfil the needs or wants (of); considerate (about)she was always attentive to his needs
Derived Formsattentively, adverbattentiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for attentiveness

mid-15c., from attentive + -ness.



late 14c. (implied in attentively), from Old French attentif, from Vulgar Latin *attenditus, from Latin attentus "heedful, observant" (see attend). Sense of "actively ministering to the needs and wants" (of another person) is from early 16c. Related: Attentively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper