"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.

Primary Meanings of attention

the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others
a motionless erect stance with arms at the sides and feet together; assumed by military personnel during drill or review
Full Definitions of attention

n the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others

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

n 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

n a general interest that leads people to want to know more

“She was the center of attention
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

n a courteous act indicating affection

“she tried to win his heart with her many attentions
Type of:
a courteous or respectful or considerate act

n the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something

“the old car needs constant attention
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

n 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
Type of:
standing posture

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