Use the adjective attentive to describe someone who is alert and paying attention: “Attentive observers of the play used clues given in the first scenes of the play to guess the identity of the murderer.”

You probably notice that the word attentive looks a lot like the noun attention. It’s easy to remember how to use attentive when you know that the words share related meanings. Use the adjective attentive to describe someone who is full of attention, watching and listening carefully, such as an attentive student who takes great notes and asks questions when something isn't clear.

Definitions of attentive
  1. adjective
    taking heed; giving close and thoughtful attention
    synonyms: heedful, paying attention, thoughtful
    see moresee less
    heedless, unheeding
    marked by or paying little heed or attention
    careless, regardless
    (usually followed by `of') without due thought or consideration
    deaf, indifferent
    (usually followed by `to') unwilling or refusing to pay heed
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    (often followed by `to') giving care or attention
    attentive to details”
    “the nurse was attentive to her patient”
    “an attentive suitor”
    absorbed, captive, engrossed, enwrapped, intent, wrapped
    giving or marked by complete attention to
    advertent, heedful
    giving attention
    paying close attention especially to details
    excessively solicitous
    showing hovering attentiveness
    feeling or showing worry or solicitude
    see moresee less
    showing a lack of attention or care
    absent, absentminded, abstracted, scatty
    lost in thought; showing preoccupation
    distracted, distrait
    having the attention diverted especially because of anxiety
    dreamy, moony, woolgathering
    dreamy in mood or nature
    drowsy, oscitant, yawning
    showing lack of attention or boredom
    forgetful, oblivious
    failing to keep in mind
    marked by lack of attention or consideration or forethought or thoroughness; not careful
    characterized by neglect and undue lack of concern
    show more antonyms...
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week