[n. uh-ten-shuhn; interj. uh-ten-shuhn]
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).

1325–75; Middle English attencioun < Latin attentiōn- (stem of attentiō). See attent, -ion

attentional, adjective
overattention, noun

1. awareness, consciousness, watchfulness, alertness, mindfulness, heed. 4. deference, politeness, regard; respect, homage.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
attention (əˈtɛnʃən)
1.  concentrated direction of the mind, esp to a problem or task
2.  consideration, notice, or observation: a new matter has come to our attention
3.  detailed care or special treatment: to pay attention to one's appearance
4.  (usually plural) an act of consideration, courtesy, or gallantry indicating affection or love: attentions given to a lover
5.  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
6.  psychol See also selective attention the act of concentrating on any one of a set of objects or thoughts
sentence substitute
7.  the order to be alert or to adopt a position of formal military alertness
[C14: from Latin attentiō, from attendere to apply the mind to; see attend]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., "giving heed," from L. attentionem (nom. attentio) "attention, attentiveness," noun of action from attendere "mental heeding." 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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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