Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Concentration of the mental powers upon an object; a close or careful observing or listening.
  • n. The ability or power to concentrate mentally.
  • n. Observant consideration; notice: Your suggestion has come to our attention.
  • n. Consideration or courtesy: attention to others' feelings.
  • n. Acts of courtesy, consideration, or gallantry, especially by a suitor.
  • n. A military posture, with the body erect, eyes to the front, arms at the sides, and heels together.
  • interj. Used as a command to assume an erect military posture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Mental focus.
  • n. An action or remark expressing concern for or interest in someone or something, especially romantic interest.
  • n. A state of alertness in the standing position.
  • interj. Used as a command to bring soldiers to the attention position.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or state of attending or heeding; the application of the mind to any object of sense, representation, or thought; notice; exclusive or special consideration; earnest consideration, thought, or regard; obedient or affectionate heed; the supposed power or faculty of attending.
  • n. An act of civility or courtesy; care for the comfort and pleasure of others.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Active direction of the mind upon an object of sense or of thought, giving it relative or absolute prominence: it may be either voluntary or involuntary.
  • n. The power or faculty of mental concentration.
  • n. Consideration; observant care; notice: as, your letter has just arrived, and will receive early attention.
  • n. Civility or courtesy, or an act of civility or courtesy: as, attention to a stranger; in the plural, acts of courtesy indicating regard: as, his attentions to the lady were most marked.
  • n. In military tactics, a cautionary word used as a preparative to a command to execute some manœuver: as, attention, company! right face!
  • n.
  • n. The whole of consciousness, regarded as made up of contents which may successively become clear under attention. The first usage is based on the analogy of the visual field of regard, the second on the analogy of the field of vision.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the faculty or power of mental concentration
  • n. a motionless erect stance with arms at the sides and feet together; assumed by military personnel during drill or review
  • n. a general interest that leads people to want to know more
  • n. the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
  • n. a courteous act indicating affection
  • n. the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others

Etymologies

Middle English attencioun, from Latin attentiō, attentiōn-, from attentus, past participle of attendere, to heed; see attend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English attencioun, from Latin attentio, from attendere, past participle attentus ("to attend, give heed to"); see attend. (Wiktionary)

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