American English

Definition of attention noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    listening/looking carefully
  1. 1[uncountable] the act of listening to, looking at, or thinking about something or someone carefully the report's attention to detail He turned his attention back to the road again. Small children have a very short attention span. Please pay attention (= listen carefully) to what I am saying. Don't pay any attention to what they say (= don't think that it is important). She tried to attract the waiter's attention. I tried not to draw attention to (= make people notice) the weak points in my argument. An article in the newspaper caught my attention. I couldn't give the program my undivided attention. (formal) It has come to my attention (= I have been informed) that… (formal) He brought/called (their) attention to the fact that many files were missing. (formal) Can I have your attention please? Language Bankemphasishighlighting an important point This case emphasizes/highlights the importance of honest communication between managers and employees. Effective communication skills are essential/crucial/vital. It should be noted that this study considers only verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is not dealt with here. It is important to remember that/An important point to remember is that non-verbal communication plays a key role in getting your message across. Communication is not only about the words you use but also your body language and, especially/above all, how effectively you listen. I would like to draw attention to the role of listening in effective communication. Choose your words carefully:in particular, avoid confusing and ambiguous language. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must learn to listen as well as to speak.
  2. interest
  3. 2[uncountable] interest that people show in someone or something Movies with big stars always attract great attention. As the youngest child, she was always the center of attention.
  4. 3[countable, usually plural] things that someone does to try to please you or to show their interest in you She tried to escape the unwanted attentions of her former boyfriend.
  5. treatment
  6. 4[uncountable] special care, action, or treatment She was in need of medical attention. The roof needs attention (= needs to be repaired). for the attention of… (= written on the envelope of an official letter to say who should deal with it)
  7. soldiers
  8. 5[uncountable] the position soldiers take when they stand very straight with their feet together and their arms at their sides to stand at attention compare (stand) at ease
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: attention