from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A manner of thinking, feeling, or behaving that reflects a state of mind or disposition.
  • noun Arrogant or aggressive disposition or behavior.
  • noun A position of the body or manner of carrying oneself: synonym: posture.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The orientation of an aircraft's axes relative to a reference line or plane, such as the horizon.
  • noun The orientation of a spacecraft relative to its direction of motion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Hence Any condition of things or relation of persons viewed as the expression of, or as affecting, feeling, opinion, intentions, etc.
  • noun In geology, the particular position or relation which the land bears at any time to the ocean.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Paint. & Sculp.) The posture, action, or disposition of a figure or a statue.
  • noun 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
  • noun Fig.: Position as indicating action, feeling, or mood
  • noun to take an attitude for mere effect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[French, from Italian attitudine, from Late Latin aptitūdō, aptitūdin-, faculty; see aptitude.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French attitude, from Italian attitudine ("attitude, aptness"), from Medieval Latin aptitudo ("aptitude"); see aptitude.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word attitude.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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

  • "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

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

    January 20, 2013