Definition of attitude in US English:



  • 1A settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person's behavior.

    ‘she took a tough attitude toward other people's indulgences’
    ‘being competitive is an attitude of mind’
    ‘differences in attitude were apparent between groups’
    • ‘Unlike Bollywood actors, the Southern film stars have a different attitude to politics.’
    • ‘In the 1970's there was a different attitude to crime.’
    • ‘But the British attitude to the private provision of public services is more complex than this.’
    • ‘There's a different attitude to police over there.’
    • ‘A sensitive attitude to cultural differences is necessary if the alliance is to succeed.’
    • ‘It is possible to have a religious attitude to life without belief in supernatural beings and occurrences.’
    • ‘But there's something that's come to perplex me about his attitude to religious belief.’
    • ‘Public opinion and the public attitude to war is often a key to whether there will be a war in the first place.’
    • ‘All of them obviously had a different attitude to life than their peers.’
    • ‘The positive attitude of library staff also helps users adjust to online library services.’
    • ‘Before, it was just the cyclists with attitude.’
    • ‘The survey includes several questions on our attitude to public spending.’
    • ‘His attitude to school pretty much reflects his attitude to authority in general.’
    • ‘There also appears to be a different attitude to civilian casualties within today's uncertain administration.’
    • ‘Where they did differ was in their attitude to Europe.’
    • ‘A questioning attitude to the beliefs of yourself and others’
    • ‘Hobbs advises investors to assess their attitude to risk before plunging in.’
    • ‘Fittingly, one of the key differences between the politicians is their attitude to choice, and to how much of it we should be given.’
    • ‘It reminded me of how much we're complete opposites when it comes to our attitude to public transport.’
    • ‘It demands a different attitude to our own interests.’
    • ‘Nowadays, we have a different attitude to animal shows.’
    • ‘Our attitude to animals too often reflects our attitudes to our fellow citizens.’
    point of view, view, viewpoint, vantage point, frame of mind, way of thinking, way of looking at things, school of thought, outlook, angle, slant, perspective, reaction, stance, standpoint, position, inclination, orientation, approach
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    1. 1.1 A position of the body proper to or implying an action or mental state.
      ‘the boy was standing in an attitude of despair, his chin sunk on his chest’
      • ‘His stocky body was set in an attitude of hopeless challenge.’
      • ‘Plus, this healthy physical attitude of yours indicates deeper emotional well-being and stability.’
      • ‘Three plump blackbirds, made all the plumper by the cold-weather attitude of their feathers, sat in a ragged row.’
      • ‘The place is now crawling with thick-necked men with attitude.’
      position, posture, pose, stance, stand
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American informal Truculent or uncooperative behavior; a resentful or antagonistic manner.
      ‘I asked the waiter for a clean fork, and all I got was attitude’
      • ‘Last season they arrived with attitude and generally did not treat us well, making fun of us even though they are not very good themselves.’
      • ‘The border crossing is marked, not with gates and flags, but with attitude.’
      • ‘His career began a downhill descent by showing up late for work, and when he did show, he arrived with a bad attitude.’
      • ‘Perhaps I'm just unlucky in encountering those with attitude, or perhaps I just complain too much.’
      • ‘He arrived with attitude as well as ambition, but those who were offended at the time concede now that he has the game to go with it.’
      • ‘Staff have an attitude and can't even raise a smile when you tip them!’
      • ‘Clarence the Alsatian with attitude, lay in the small patch of afternoon sunlight that made it into his enclosure.’
      • ‘She crossed her arms with attitude and shifted her feet.’
      • ‘She came to his studio with attitude, but cradled his face in her hands to kiss him before she left.’
      • ‘Still, the influx of poor cousins with attitude might shake things up a bit in Brussels.’
      • ‘I was so glad to get your e-mail about librarians with attitude.’
    3. 1.3informal Individuality and self-confidence as manifested by behavior or appearance; style.
      ‘she snapped her fingers with attitude’
      • ‘He started working as a reporter, but relaunched himself in his twenties as a motoring writer with attitude.’
      • ‘Federal, as in their previous two games, played with attitude.’
      • ‘I too would like a young blonde thing with attitude.’
      • ‘So, I thought, it's just a bar with attitude.’
      • ‘I dedicate my monthly links list to the memory of Pope John Paul II, a holy man with attitude.’
      • ‘What an inspired combination: Two of the most influential popular musicians of their generation plus a string quartet with attitude.’
      • ‘We also had the same waiter that we had last time… the cute one with attitude.’
      • ‘No kitchen is complete without a knife set with attitude.’
      • ‘Here is an older woman with attitude but terrible gym shoes.’
      • ‘Sarah pointed at a nine-year-old girl with attitude and spunk.’
      • ‘Her guitar work is raw and drips with attitude, while her singing bubbles with personality, passion and sensitivity.’
      • ‘A fashion designer with attitude, Arora thinks fashion should be unchained and without boundaries.’
      • ‘The band seemed to have all the right influences and a girl singer with attitude - a little slice of Islington cool.’
      • ‘It is acoustic music with attitude and virtuosity.’
      • ‘This is a modern and rebellious hair cut with attitude.’
      • ‘This is not cuddly cashmere but knitwear with attitude.’
      • ‘She comes across as sweet and innocent and yet as a teen with attitude.’
      • ‘Despite all that, it remains a strong exhibition of work with attitude.’
      • ‘Also on the bill will be DJs with their own brand of dance music with attitude.’
      • ‘Lucille makes it clear that they are looking for young dancers with attitude and ability.’
    4. 1.4 The orientation of an aircraft or spacecraft, relative to the direction of travel.
      • ‘Although the pilot cannot deliberately overshoot the attitude limitation, the aircraft can.’
      • ‘He controls the spacecraft's attitude jets and thrusters, while the engineer keeps a lookout and pays attention to the timing.’
      • ‘The longer he's away from the flight instruments, the more extreme the unusual attitude.’
      • ‘We use our view of the ground, the horizon and the sky to keep the airplane in the right attitude.’
      • ‘It is important to fully understand the effect a liquid's movement can have on the attitude control of these spacecraft.’
      • ‘The helicopter settled onto the ground in a nose-low attitude.’
      • ‘I felt our aircraft attitude change as I watched the scope.’
      • ‘The aircraft then assumed a slightly nose-high attitude.’
    5. 1.5Ballet A position in which one leg is lifted behind with the knee bent at right angles and turned out, and the corresponding arm is raised above the head, the other extended to the side.
      • ‘The women hobble and stretch on point, doing something looking like an attitude, the knee isn't raised, but the leg stretches out from the knee.’
      • ‘The dancers could not be faulted for they rendered their attitudes, tours and pirouettes with steady, professional manner.’


Late 17th century (denoting the placing or posture of a figure in art): from French, from Italian attitudine ‘fitness, posture’, from late Latin aptitudo, from aptus ‘fit’.