- 1. a. The action, fact, or state of attending or giving heed; earnest direction of the mind, consideration, or regard; esp. in phr. to pay or give attention. The mental power or faculty of attending; esp. with attract, call, draw, arrest, fix, etc.
- b. Metaph. (See quot.)
- 2. Practical consideration, observant care, notice.
- 3. The action of attending to the comfort and pleasure of others; ceremonious politeness, courtesy. Often in pl. spec. to pay attention or one's attention to: to court.
- 4. A matter of attention, a consideration. rare.
- 5. a. ‘A cautionary word used as a preparative to any particular exercise or manuvre.’ C. James Mil. Dict. to come to attention: to assume a prepared military attitude; so to stand at attention.
- b. to stand (at, to) attention: to stand in the military attitude assumed at the word of command ‘Attention!’ Also to draw oneself up, spring, etc., to attention.