(redirected from Overt attention)
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Related to Overt attention: salient, Undivided Attention, Covert attention


a. The act of close or careful observing or listening: You'll learn more if you pay attention in class.
b. The ability or power to keep the mind on something; the ability to concentrate: We turned our attention to the poem's last stanza.
c. Notice or observation: The billboard caught our attention.
2. The act of dealing with something or someone; treatment: This injury requires immediate medical attention.
3. attentions
a. Acts of interest or interference: "men who wanted ... freedom from censorship and the attentions of the police" (John Kenneth Galbraith).
b. Acts of consideration or courtesy, especially in an effort to win someone's affection or gain sexual favors: "She was almost giddy with disbelief at the unexpected attentions of a handsome, well-spoken, obviously professional man" (Rob Kantner).
4. A military posture, with the body erect, eyes to the front, arms at the sides, and heels together.
Used as a command to assume an erect military posture.

[Middle English attencioun, from Latin attentiō, attentiōn-, from attentus, past participle of attendere, to heed; see attend.]

at·ten′tion·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. concentrated direction of the mind, esp to a problem or task
2. consideration, notice, or observation: a new matter has come to our attention.
3. detailed care or special treatment: to pay attention to one's appearance.
4. (usually plural) an act of consideration, courtesy, or gallantry indicating affection or love: attentions given to a lover.
5. (Military) the motionless position of formal military alertness, esp in drill when an upright position is assumed with legs and heels together, arms to the sides, head and eyes facing to the front
6. (Psychology) psychol the act of concentrating on any one of a set of objects or thoughts. See also selective attention
sentence substitute
(Military) the order to be alert or to adopt a position of formal military alertness
[C14: from Latin attentiō, from attendere to apply the mind to; see attend]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(n. əˈtɛn ʃən; interj. əˌtɛnˈʃʌn)

1. the act or faculty of mentally concentrating on a single object, thought, or event.
2. a state of consciousness characterized by such concentration.
3. observant care or consideration: to give a matter personal attention.
4. civility or courtesy; regard.
5. notice or awareness: to catch someone's attention.
6. attentions, acts of courtesy or devotion indicating affection.
7. a position assumed while standing in military formation, with eyes to the front, arms to the sides, and heels together (often used as a command).
[1325–75; Middle English < Latin attentiō]
at•ten′tion•al, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. (When listening he is) as focused and as still as a chipmunk spying something unknown from atop a stone wall —Philip Roth about Primo Levi, New York Times Book Review, October 12, 1986
  2. The attention [of listeners] is like a narrow mouthed vessel; pour into it what you have to say cautiously, and, as it were, drop by drop —Joseph Joubert
  3. Attention rolled down like a window shade —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  4. Attention [of students] sinking … like sluggish iron from the cooling crust —John Updike
  5. Attentive and indifferent as a croupier —George Garrett
  6. Attracted about as much attention as a flea in a dog pound —Ross Thomas
  7. Attracted about as much attention (in the artistic world) as the advent of another fly in a slaughter house —James L. Ford
  8. Attracted as little attention as a dirty fingernail in the third grade —Ring Lardner
  9. Attracted attention like the principal heads in a picture —Honoré de Balzac
  10. Collected attention like twists of silver paper or small white pebbles —Elizabeth Bowen
  11. Concentrates … like a cancer victim scanning a medical dictionary in hopes that the standard definitions have been repealed overnight in favor of good news —James Morrow
  12. Curiosity, keen and cold as a steel knife —Maxim Gorky
  13. Deaf as a door nail —Thomas Wilson

    This is the best known of many “Deaf as” similes. It’s used in its literal sense as well as to describe inattentiveness. Popular variants include “Deaf as a post,”“Deaf as a door,” and “Deaf as a stone.”

    See Also:DEATH

  14. Deaf as a piecrust —Lawrence Durrell
  15. (Had honed her ability to turn) deaf as a snail —Joseph Wambaugh
  16. Drinking it [information] like a bomber pilot getting ready for a mission —Harvey Swados
  17. (The hoot of laughter that always made Mary) flick him off like television —Sumner Locke Elliott
  18. Had taken in her every anecdote as completely as a recording machine —Louis Auchincloss
  19. Heads are turning like windmills —Arthur Miller
  20. Heedless as the dead —Lord Byron
  21. His eyes wandered, like a mind —Penelope Gilliatt
  22. His mind keeps slipping away like a fly —John Rechy
  23. Inattentive, like the ear of a confessor —Mary McCarthy
  24. Intent as a surgeon —Jean Stafford
  25. Interest spread like a net —Nadine Gordimer
  26. (She could not keep her mind on anything;) it [her mind] kept darting around like a darning needle —Jean Stafford
  27. Leaned forward … like hounds just before they get the fox —Stephen Vincent Benét
  28. Leapt from theme to theme like a water-bug —Eleanor Clark
  29. Listened as intently as a blind woman —Rita Mae Brown
  30. Listened, very still, like a child who is being told a fascinating and gruesome fairy tale —Isak Dinesen
  31. Listen like an uncle —Herbert Gold
  32. Listen … like snakes to a charmer’s flute —Jan de Hartog
  33. Mind jumps from one thing to another like drops of water bouncing off a larded pan when you test whether the griddle is hot enough to pour the pancake batter in —John Hagge
  34. My mind wanders like smoke —Clifford Odets
  35. Pricked up his ears like two railroad signals —Lewis Carroll
  36. [Poets] receive the same care as xylophones and equestrian statues —Delmore Schwartz


  37. Seems not to listen to her words, but rather watches her forming them … like some fervent anthropologist —William Boyd
  38. Snaps to attention like a thumb —Irving Feldman
  39. (He tried to apply his mind to the work he was doing but his) thoughts fluttered desperately, like moths in a trap —W. Somerset Maugham
  40. The words bounced off Harry, like pebbles skipped on water —Paul Kuttner
  41. (So scatter-brained that) words went by him like the wind —Louisa May Alcott
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


If you give someone or something your attention, you look at them, listen to them, or think about them carefully.

When he had their attention, he began his lecture.
He turned his attention back to his magazine.

You can also say that someone pays attention to something.

Look, pay attention to what I'm saying.
The food industry is beginning to pay attention to young consumers.

Be Careful!
Don't say that someone 'pays attention at' something.

Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.attention - the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of othersattention - the process whereby a person concentrates on some features of the environment to the (relative) exclusion of others
basic cognitive process - cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
attentiveness, heed, paying attention, regard - paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people); "his attentiveness to her wishes"; "he spends without heed to the consequences"
clock-watching - paying excessive attention to the clock (in anticipation of stopping work)
ear - attention to what is said; "he tried to get her ear"
eye - attention to what is seen; "he tried to catch her eye"
notice, observance, observation - the act of noticing or paying attention; "he escaped the notice of the police"
notice - polite or favorable attention; "his hard work soon attracted the teacher's notice"
inattention - lack of attention
2.attention - the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or somethingattention - the work of providing treatment for or attending to someone or something; "no medical care was required"; "the old car needs constant attention"
hair care, haircare, hairdressing - care for the hair: the activity of washing or cutting or curling or arranging the hair
work - activity directed toward making or doing something; "she checked several points needing further work"
maternalism - 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
treatment, intervention - care provided to improve a situation (especially medical procedures or applications that are intended to relieve illness or injury)
incubation - maintaining something at the most favorable temperature for its development
livery - the care (feeding and stabling) of horses for pay
manicure - professional care for the hands and fingernails
pedicure - professional care for the feet and toenails
nourishment - the act of nourishing; "her nourishment of the orphans saved many lives"
nursing - the work of caring for the sick or injured or infirm
tender loving care, TLC - considerate and solicitous care; "young children need lots of TLC"
nurturance - 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
healthcare, health care - the preservation of mental and physical health by preventing or treating illness through services offered by the health profession
3.attention - a general interest that leads people to want to know moreattention - a general interest that leads people to want to know more; "She was the center of attention"
attractive feature, magnet, attractor, attracter, attraction - a characteristic that provides pleasure and attracts; "flowers are an attractor for bees"
enhancer, foil - anything that serves by contrast to call attention to another thing's good qualities; "pretty girls like plain friends as foils"
4.attention - a courteous act indicating affectionattention - a courteous act indicating affection; "she tried to win his heart with her many attentions"
courtesy - a courteous or respectful or considerate act
5.attention - the faculty or power of mental concentrationattention - the faculty or power of mental concentration; "keeping track of all the details requires your complete attention"
faculty, mental faculty, module - one of the inherent cognitive or perceptual powers of the mind
engrossment, immersion, absorption, concentration - complete attention; intense mental effort
mental note - special attention with intent to remember; "he made a mental note to send her flowers"
alertness, vigilance, watchfulness, wakefulness - the process of paying close and continuous attention; "wakefulness, watchfulness, and bellicosity make a good hunter"; "vigilance is especially susceptible to fatigue"
6.attention - a motionless erect stance with arms at the sides and feet togetherattention - 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"
stance - standing posture
armed forces, armed services, military, military machine, war machine - the military forces of a nation; "their military is the largest in the region"; "the military machine is the same one we faced in 1991 but now it is weaker"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. thinking, thought, mind, notice, consideration, concentration, observation, scrutiny, heed, deliberation, contemplation, thoughtfulness, attentiveness, ATTN (S.M.S.), intentness, heedfulness He turned his attention to the desperate state of housing in the province.
2. care, support, concern, treatment, looking after, succour, ATTN (S.M.S.), ministration a demanding baby who wants attention 24 hours a day
plural noun courtesy, compliments, regard, respect, care, consideration, deference, politeness, civility, gallantry, mindfulness, assiduities He was flattered by the attentions of a younger woman.
courtesy discourtesy, impoliteness
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. Concentration of the mental powers on something:
2. The act of noting, observing, or taking into account:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
إنْتِباهاِنْتِبَاهعِنايَهيَكون في وَضع الإنْتِباه
pozornostpozorv pozoruošetření
gādībakopšanamiera stājauzmanība
ošetreniev pozore
sự chú ý


A. N
1.atención f
(your) attention please!¡atención por favor!
to attract sb's attentionllamar la atención de algn
to call or draw sb's attention to sthhacer notar algo a algn
it has come to my attention thatme he enterado de que ...
it requires daily attentionhay que atenderlo a diario
it will have my earliest attentionlo atenderé lo antes posible
for the attention of Mr. Jonesa la atención del Sr. Jones
to pay attention (to)prestar atención (a)
he paid no attentionno hizo caso (to that de eso) to pay special attention tofijarse de modo especial en, prestar especial atención a
to turn one's attention topasar a considerar, pasar a estudiar
2. (Mil) attention!¡firme(s)!
to come to attentionponerse firme(s)
to stand at or to attentionestar firme(s)
3. attentions [of would-be suitor, media] → atenciones fpl
B. CPD attention deficit disorder Ntrastorno m de déficit de atención
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Ntrastorno m hiperactivo de déficit de atención
attention span Ncapacidad f de concentración
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= consideration) → attention f
it has come to my attention that ... → je constate que ...
to pay attention to → faire attention à
He didn't pay attention to what I was saying → Il ne faisait pas attention à ce que je disais.
to hold sb's attention → retenir l'attention de qn
to need medical attention → avoir besoin de soins médicaux
to draw sb's attention to sth → attirer l'attention de qn sur qch
to attract sb's attention → attirer l'attention de qn
to catch sb's attention → attirer l'attention de qn
for the attention of (in letter, memo)à l'attention de
(MILITARY) at attention → au garde-à-vous
to stand to attention, to stand at attention → se tenir au garde-à-vous
excl (MILITARY)garde-à-vous!
attentions npl (= kindness) → attentions fpl, prévenances fplattention deficit disorder ntroubles mpl déficitaires de l'attentionattention deficit hyperactivity disorder ntroubles mpl déficitaires de l'attention avec hyperactivitéattention-grabbing [əˈtenʃənˌgræbɪŋ] adj [campaign, headline] → accrocheur/euse, qui retient l'attentionattention-seeking [əˈtenʃənˌsiːkɪŋ] adjcherchant à attirer l'attentionattention span ncapacité f de concentration
His attention span is limited
BUT Il n'arrive pas à se concentrer très longtemps.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


no pl (= consideration, observation, notice)Aufmerksamkeit f; to call attention to somethingauf etw (acc)aufmerksam machen; to call or draw somebody’s attention to something, to call or draw something to somebody’s attentionjds Aufmerksamkeit auf etw (acc)lenken, jdn auf etw (acc)aufmerksam machen; to attract somebody’s attentionjds Aufmerksamkeit erregen, jdn auf sich (acc)aufmerksam machen; to turn one’s attention to somebody/somethingjdm/einer Sache seine Aufmerksamkeit zuwenden, seine Aufmerksamkeit auf jdn/etw richten; to pay attention/no attention to somebody/somethingjdn/etw beachten/nicht beachten; to pay attention to the teacherdem Lehrer zuhören; to hold somebody’s attentionjdn fesseln; can I have your attention for a moment?dürfte ich Sie einen Augenblick um (Ihre) Aufmerksamkeit bitten?; attention!Achtung!; your attention, pleaseich bitte um Aufmerksamkeit; (official announcement) → Achtung, Achtung!; it has come to my attention that …ich bin darauf aufmerksam geworden, dass …; it has been brought to my attention that …es ist mir zu Ohren gekommen, dass …
(Comm) attention Miss Smith, for the attention of Miss Smithzu Händen von Frau Smith; your letter will receive our earliest attentionIhr Brief wird baldmöglichst or umgehend bearbeitet; for your attentionzur gefälligen Beachtung
(Mil) to stand to or at attention, to come to attentionstillstehen; attention!stillgestanden!
pl (= kindnesses)Aufmerksamkeiten pl; to pay one’s attentions to somebody (dated: = court) → jdm den Hof machen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[əˈtɛnʃn] n
a.attenzione f
to call sb's attention to sth → richiamare qc all'attenzione di qn
it has come to my attention that ... → sono venuto a conoscenza (del fatto) che...
to pay attention (to) → stare attento/a (a), fare attenzione (a)
for the attention of (Admin) → all'attenzione di
b. (Mil) attention!attenti!
to come to/stand at attention → mettersi/stare sull'attenti
c. attentions npl (kindnesses) → attenzioni fpl, premure fpl
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(əˈtenʃən) noun
1. notice. He tried to attract my attention; Pay attention to your teacher!
2. care. That broken leg needs urgent attention.
3. concentration of the mind. His attention wanders.
4. (in the army etc) a position in which one stands very straight with hands by the sides and feet together. He stood to attention.
atˈtentive (-tiv) adjective
giving attention. The children were very attentive when the teacher was speaking; attentive to her needs.
atˈtentively (-tiv-) adverb
They listened attentively.
atˈtentiveness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


اِنْتِبَاه pozornost opmærksomhed Aufmerksamkeit προσοχή atención huomio attention pažnja attenzione 注意 주의 aandacht oppmerksomhet uwaga atenção внимание uppmärksamhet ความตั้งใจ dikkat sự chú ý 注意
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. atención, cuidado;
lack of ___falta de ___;
to pay ___atender, prestar atención.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


n atención f; — span período de atención
English-Spanish/Spanish-English Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If the favored toy is a large peacock feather or a fishing pole lure, have the person dangle it in the cat's direction, again without giving the cat overt attention. Take advantage of the times when your cat is most relaxed or most interested in play for the newcomer to interact.
This confirms that the task-relevant eye region was always looked at and, importantly, that any potential influence of the mouth region on the judgment of the eye expression occurred without overt attention to the mouth, with the mouth in parafoveal vision.
Such an attentional span broadening mechanism would permit eccentric threat stimuli to be processed outside the focus of overt attention, i.e., when they appear at extrafoveal locations.