9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-ten-tiv] /əˈtɛn tɪv/
characterized by or giving attention; observant:
an attentive audience.
thoughtful of others; considerate; polite; courteous:
an attentive host.
Origin of attentive
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (Scots) < Middle French; see attent, -ive
Related forms
attentively, adverb
attentiveness, noun
overattentive, adjective
overattentively, adverb
overattentiveness, noun
unattentive, adjective
unattentively, adverb
unattentiveness, noun
1. heedful, mindful, aware, alert, awake, watchful.
1. indifferent, apathetic, unconcerned. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for attentively
  • In an illuminated manuscript, the text is presented in unique visual style which the reader must attentively contemplate.
  • We started to talk about our problem, and he listened attentively.
  • Bill listened attentively and told each one where to get help.
  • Early in the semester, all the students are in their seats, attentively taking notes.
  • Listen attentively to what others have to say and ask questions.
  • People rarely listen to each other as attentively as they wish others would listen to them.
  • Pythons and pit vipers are good parents to their children, attentively defending them from predators.
  • The other partner is to listen attentively but to make no verbal response whatsoever.
  • Unable to read or write themselves, they listened attentively, absorbed.
  • For as long as they could, they listened attentively and groped desperately toward comprehension.
British Dictionary definitions for attentively


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 Forms
attentively, adverb
attentiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for attentively



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
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