Date: 1300-1400
Language: Latin
Origin: attentio, from attendere; ATTEND


at‧ten‧tion S1 W1

listen/look/think carefully

[uncountable] when you carefully listen to, look at, or think about someone or somethingCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
somebody's attention is on somebody/something pay attention (to somebody/something) turn your attention to somebody/something (=start listening to, looking at, or thinking about something) give (your) attention to somebody/something (=listen to, look at, or think about something, so that you can deal with a problem) somebody's full/complete/undivided attention keep somebody's attention close/careful attention attention to detail somebody's attention wanders may/could I have your attention? (=used when asking a group of people to listen carefully to you)
My attention wasn't really on the game.
She tried to pay attention to what he was saying.
If you paid more attention in class, you might actually learn something!
Scott sat down at his desk and turned his attention to the file he had in front of him.
As a society we need to give more attention to the needs of older people.
This game is fun and is sure to keep the attention of any young student.
They listened to the speech with close attention.
Attention to detail is essential in this job.
During the lecture Sarah's attention began to wander.


[plural,uncountable] the interest that people show in someone or something:
She was flattered by all the attention he was giving her.
attract/receive/enjoy attention
a player who quickly attracted the attention of several clubs
The exhibition received little attention in the press.
public/media/press attention
Her case attracted a great deal of media attention.
hold/keep somebody's attention (=make someone stay interested and keep reading, listening, watching etc)
The book holds the reader's attention right to the very end.
Rob loves being the centre of attention (=the person who everyone is interested in, listens to etc).
She spent a lot of time trying to avoid the attentions (=romantic interest) of her boss.
The man then turned his attentions to (=became romantically interested in) her sister.



attract/catch/get somebody's attention

to make someone notice you, especially because you want to speak to them or you need their help:
She waved to attract the attention of the waitress.

get attention

to make someone notice you and be interested in what you are doing:
Children often misbehave in order to get attention.

draw/call attention to something

also focus attention on something to make people notice and be concerned or think about something:
The purpose of the article was to draw attention to the problems faced by single parents.
We wanted to focus public attention on this matter.
He left quietly to avoid drawing attention to himself.

divert/distract/draw attention from something

to make people stop being concerned about something such as a social problem:
All this talk of war is just an attempt to draw attention away from the serious economic problems that face our country.

bring something to somebody's attention

to tell someone, especially someone in authority, about something such as a problem:
The matter was first brought to my attention earlier this year.

come to somebody's attention

if something such as a problem comes to the attention of someone in authority, they find out about it:
It came to my attention that Jenny was claiming overtime pay for hours she had not worked.

escape your attention

if something escaped your attention, you did not notice it:
This fact had not escaped the attention of the authorities.


[uncountable] something you do to repair or clean something:
The bike's in fairly good condition, but the gears need a bit of attention.


[uncountable] things that you do to help or to take care of someone or something:
Pets need a lot of care and attention.
Anyone who comes into contact with these chemicals should seek urgent medical attention.
Your plants look like they could do with a bit of attention.

stand to/at attention

if soldiers stand to attention, they stand up straight in neat lines


a) used to ask people to listen to important information that is being announced, especially on a loudspeaker (=piece of equipment used to make sounds louder):
Attention, please! Could Passenger Marie Thomas please proceed to Gate 25 immediately.
b) used when ordering a group of soldiers to stand up straight in neat lines

for the attention of somebody

used on the front of an official letter when you want a particular person to read it or deal with it:
Letters should be marked 'for the attention of Joe Benson'.

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