Definitions

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

  • n. A position of the body or manner of carrying oneself: stood in a graceful attitude. See Synonyms at posture.
  • n. A state of mind or a feeling; disposition: had a positive attitude about work.
  • n. An arrogant or hostile state of mind or disposition.
  • n. The orientation of an aircraft's axes relative to a reference line or plane, such as the horizon.
  • n. The orientation of a spacecraft relative to its direction of motion.
  • n. A position similar to an arabesque in which a ballet dancer stands on one leg with the other raised either in front or in back and bent at the knee.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The position of the body or way of carrying oneself; posture.
  • n. Disposition or state of mind.
  • n. A negative, irritating, or irritated attitude; posturing.
  • n. The orientation of a vehicle or other object relative to the horizon, direction of motion, other objects, etc.
  • n. A position similar to arabesque, but with the raised leg bent at the knee.
  • v. To assume or to place in a particular position or orientation; to pose.
  • v. To express an attitude through one's posture, bearing, tone of voice, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The posture, action, or disposition of a figure or a statue.
  • n. The posture or position of a person or an animal, or the manner in which the parts of his body are disposed; position assumed or studied to serve a purpose
  • n. Fig.: Position as indicating action, feeling, or mood

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Posture or position of the body, or the manner in which its parts are disposed; especially, a posture or position as indicating emotion, purpose, etc., or as appropriate to the performance of some act.
  • n. Hence Any condition of things or relation of persons viewed as the expression of, or as affecting, feeling, opinion, intentions, etc.
  • n. In geology, the particular position or relation which the land bears at any time to the ocean.

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

  • n. a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways
  • n. the arrangement of the body and its limbs
  • n. a theatrical pose created for effect
  • n. position of aircraft or spacecraft relative to a frame of reference (the horizon or direction of motion)

Etymologies

French, from Italian attitudine, from Late Latin aptitūdō, aptitūdin-, faculty; see aptitude.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French attitude, from Italian attitudine ("attitude, aptness"), from Medieval Latin aptitudo ("aptitude"); see aptitude. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Railway telegraphers' shorthand for the phrase "Pay particular attention to". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013

  • "The geologist's point of view is that the and either has emerged from the oceanic waters or is to be again buried by them, and therefore at any particular time assumes an attitude with relation to the ocean."

    January 19, 2013

  • You'd think this would be one of the boatloads of ambitious words that came over with William the Conqueror. But no, it's a newcomer, about 1700, from the Italian form of 'aptitude', which it replaced in its current senses.

    November 18, 2008