"May I have your attention please?" When you ask that question, you are asking people to focus their mental powers on you. Whether they do or not depends on your next words. You'll have their full attention if you say, "Here's $100."

The noun attention can also refer to an interest in something or someone. You probably pay attention in school when your teachers bring up topics in which you are personally interested. You can also shower attention on those you love or indulge. The word also refers to "standing at attention," as in the military — by standing up straight, arms down at the sides, and feet together.

Definitions of attention
  1. noun
    the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others
    synonyms: attending
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    lack of attention
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    attentiveness, heed, paying attention, regard
    paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people)
    paying excessive attention to the clock (in anticipation of stopping work)
    attention to what is said
    attention to what is seen
    notice, observance, observation
    the act of noticing or paying attention
    polite or favorable attention
    advertence, advertency
    the process of being heedful
    explicit notice
    type of:
    basic cognitive process
    cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
  2. noun
    the faculty or power of mental concentration
    “keeping track of all the details requires your complete attention
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    absorption, concentration, engrossment, immersion
    complete attention; intense mental effort
    mental note
    special attention with intent to remember
    alertness, vigilance, wakefulness, watchfulness
    the process of paying close and continuous attention
    centering, direction, focal point, focus, focusing, focussing
    the concentration of attention or energy on something
    the concentration of your efforts on a particular field of study or occupation
    a state of deep mental absorption
    zealous vigilance
    type of:
    faculty, mental faculty, module
    one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
  3. noun
    a general interest that leads people to want to know more
    “She was the center of attention
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    enhancer, foil
    anything that serves by contrast to call attention to another thing's good qualities
    type of:
    attracter, attraction, attractive feature, attractor, magnet
    a characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts
  4. noun
    a courteous act indicating affection
    “she tried to win his heart with her many attentions
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    type of:
    a courteous or respectful or considerate act
  5. noun
    the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something
    “the old car needs constant attention
    synonyms: aid, care, tending
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    hair care, haircare, hairdressing
    care for the hair: the activity of washing or cutting or curling or arranging the hair
    motherly care; behavior characteristic of a mother; the practice of acting as a mother does toward her children
    baby sitting, babysitting
    the work of a baby sitter; caring for children when their parents are not home
    pet sitting
    the work of a pet sitter; caring for pets in their own home while their owners are away from home
    dental care
    care for the teeth
    first aid
    emergency care given before regular medical aid can be obtained
    intervention, treatment
    care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)
    maintaining something at the most favorable temperature for its development
    the care (feeding and stabling) of horses for pay
    professional care for the hands and fingernails
    professional care for the feet and toenails
    the act of nourishing
    the work of caring for the sick or injured or infirm
    TLC, tender loving care
    considerate and solicitous care
    physical and emotional care and nourishment
    personal care
    care for someone who is disabled or is otherwise unable to care for themselves; can including bathing and cooking and managing bodily functions
    skin care, skincare
    care for the skin
    faith cure, faith healing
    care provided through prayer and faith in God
    tree surgery
    treatment of damaged or decaying trees
    health care, healthcare
    the preservation of mental and physical health by preventing or treating illness through services offered by the health profession
    brush, brushing
    the act of brushing your hair
    comb, combing
    the act of drawing a comb through hair
    the act of washing your hair with shampoo
    the act of interweaving a hairpiece with your own hair
    brush, brushing
    the act of brushing your teeth
    medical aid, medical care
    professional treatment for illness or injury
    kneading and rubbing parts of the body to increase circulation and promote relaxation
    a method of therapy that involves physical or electrical therapeutic treatment
    care for the face that usually involves cleansing and massage and the application of cosmetic creams
    a treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol intended to remove the physiological effects of the addictive substances
    laying on of hands
    the application of a faith healer's hands to the patient's body
    a method of treatment that manipulates body structures (especially the spine) to relieve low back pain or even headache or high blood pressure
    application of warm wet coverings to a part of the body to relieve pain and inflammation
    a method of treating disease using food and exercise and heat to assist the natural healing process
    a drugless method of treatment based on the belief that disease symptoms arise from problems with ligaments and connective tissues
    orthodontic treatment
    dental treatment that corrects irregularities of the teeth or of the relation of the teeth to surrounding anatomy; treatment is usually by braces or mechanical aids
    treatment of defects of binocular vision (such as strabismus and amblyopia) by nonsurgical measures (especially by exercises to strengthen the eye muscles)
    therapy based on the assumption that restoring health is best accomplished by manipulating the skeleton and muscles
    treatment of a skeletal deformity by intentionally fracturing a bone
    acupuncture, stylostixis
    treatment of pain or disease by inserting the tips of needles at specific points on the skin
    G-Jo, acupressure, shiatsu
    treatment of symptoms by applying pressure with the fingers to specific pressure points on the body
    autogenic therapy, autogenic training, autogenics
    training patients in self-induced relaxation
    hydropathy, hydrotherapy
    the internal and external use of water in the treatment of disease
    rest as a medical treatment for stress or anxiety etc.
    type of:
    activity directed toward making or doing something
  6. noun
    a motionless erect stance with arms at the sides and feet together; assumed by military personnel during drill or review
    “the troops stood at attention
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    type of:
    standing posture
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