"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[n. uh-ten-shuh n; interj. uh-ten-shuhn] /n. əˈtɛn ʃən; interj. əˌtɛnˈʃʌn/
the act or faculty of attending, especially by directing the mind to an object.
  1. 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.
  2. a state of consciousness characterized by such concentration.
  3. 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
1325-75; Middle English attencioun < Latin attentiōn- (stem of attentiō). See attent, -ion
Related forms
attentional, adjective
overattention, noun
1. awareness, consciousness, watchfulness, alertness, mindfulness, heed. 4. deference, politeness, regard; respect, homage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for attention
  • Many of them work full time, have aging parents in need of care and attention, or are parents themselves.
  • Items in the special collections require meticulous care and attention, and storage at the ideal temperature and humidity.
  • The result is to scatter our attention and diffuse our concentration.
  • He was full of joy and attention.
  • Ask students to pay close attention to the animals and their unique behaviors.
  • Having been a book author, she added, makes her all the more aware of how difficult it is to get attention for books.
  • Without sufficient funding priority, geography does not receive the attention it deserves in K-12 schools.
  • Considerable attention is given to the impeachment of witnesses and the rights of witnesses are well guarded.
  • Kosher and scenic restaurants receive special attention.
  • All this has attracted the attention of regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.
British Dictionary definitions for attention


concentrated direction of the mind, esp to a problem or task
consideration, notice, or observation: a new matter has come to our attention
detailed care or special treatment: to pay attention to one's appearance
(usually pl) an act of consideration, courtesy, or gallantry indicating affection or love: attentions 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 thoughts See also selective attention
sentence substitute
the order to be alert or to adopt a position of formal military alertness
Word Origin
C14: from Latin attentiō, from attendere to apply the mind to; see attend
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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with attention


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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