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[at-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind:
a negative attitude; group attitudes.
position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.:
a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.
Aeronautics. the inclination of the three principal axes of an aircraft relative to the wind, to the ground, etc.
Ballet. a pose in which the dancer stands on one leg, the other bent behind.
Origin of attitude
1660-70; < French < Italian attitudine < Late Latin aptitūdini- (stem of aptitūdō) aptitude
Related forms
attitudinal, adjective
Can be confused
altitude, attitude.
2. See position. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for attitude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The anger had ebbed from Dan's brain, although his attitude had not relaxed.

    The Destroyer Burton Egbert Stevenson
  • Something in the agent's attitude of literary absorption aggravated him.

    Days Off Henry Van Dyke
  • What does it imply as regards his attitude towards all women?

  • The Freshman's past attitude had paved the way for a different answer.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • Now in philosophy this attitude of mind has not as yet been achieved.

British Dictionary definitions for attitude


the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way
a theatrical pose created for effect (esp in the phrase strike an attitude)
a position of the body indicating mood or emotion
(informal) a hostile manner: don't give me attitude, my girl
the orientation of an aircraft's axes in relation to some plane, esp the horizontal See also axis1 (sense 1)
the orientation of a spacecraft in relation to its direction of motion
(ballet) a classical position in which the body is upright and one leg raised and bent behind
Derived Forms
attitudinal, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Italian attitudine disposition, from Late Latin aptitūdō fitness, from Latin aptusapt
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 attitude

1660s, via French attitude (17c.), from Italian attitudine "disposition, posture," also "aptness, promptitude," from Late Latin aptitudinem (nominative aptitudo; see aptitude). Originally 17c. a technical term in art for the posture of a figure in a statue or painting; later generalized to "a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state" (1725). Sense of "settled behavior reflecting feeling or opinion" is first recorded 1837. Connotations of "antagonistic and uncooperative" developed by 1962 in slang.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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attitude in Medicine

attitude at·ti·tude (āt'ĭ-tōōd', -tyōōd')

  1. The position of the body and limbs; posture.

  2. A manner of acting.

  3. A relatively stable and enduring predisposition to behave or react in a characteristic way.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for attitude



A resentful and hostile manner; pugnacity (Black & prison)

Related Terms

have an attitude

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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