pay attention

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pay attention (third-person singular simple present pays attention, present participle paying attention, simple past and past participle paid attention)

  1. (idiomatic, intransitive) To attend; to be attentive; to focus one's attention.
    Please pay attention to the danger signs.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter IV, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      I was on my way to the door, but all at once, through the fog in my head, I began to sight one reef that I hadn't paid any attention to afore.
    • 1950 January, David L. Smith, “A Runaway at Beattock”, in Railway Magazine, page 54:
      Just south of Wamphray station they overtook the runaway. The dim figure of Mitchell could be seen sitting huddled behind the stormboard. They shouted and whistled. He paid no attention.