Definitions for: Attitude

[n] a theatrical pose created for effect; "the actor struck just the right attitude"
[n] position or arrangement of the body and its limbs; "he assumed an attitude of surrender"
[n] a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways; "he had the attitude that work was fun"
[n] position of aircraft or spacecraft relative to a frame of reference (the horizon or direction of motion)

Webster (1913) Definition: At"ti*tude, n. [It. attitudine, LL. aptitudo, fr. L.
aptus suited, fitted: cf. F. attitude. Cf. Aptitude.]
1. (Paint. & Sculp.) The posture, action, or disposition of a
figure or a statue.

2. The posture or position of a person or an animal, or the
manner in which the parts of his body are disposed;
position assumed or studied to serve a purpose; as, a
threatening attitude; an attitude of entreaty.

3. Fig.: Position as indicating action, feeling, or mood; as,
in times of trouble let a nation preserve a firm attitude;
one's mental attitude in respect to religion.

The attitude of the country was rapidly changing.
--J. R. Green.

To strike an attitude, to take an attitude for mere effect.

Syn: Attitude, Posture.

Usage: Both of these words describe the visible disposition
of the limbs. Posture relates to their position
merely; attitude refers to their fitness for some
specific object. The object of an attitude is to set
forth exhibit some internal feeling; as, attitude of
wonder, of admiration, of grief, etc. It is,
therefore, essentially and designedly expressive. Its
object is the same with that of gesture; viz., to hold
forth and represent. Posture has no such design. If we
speak of posture in prayer, or the posture of
devotion, it is only the natural disposition of the
limbs, without any intention to show forth or exhibit.

'T is business of a painter in his choice of
attitudes (positur[ae]) to foresee the effect
and harmony of the lights and shadows. --Dryden.

Never to keep the body in the same posture half
an hour at a time. --Bacon.

Synonyms: mental attitude, position, posture

See Also: acceptance, affectation, asana, ballet position, bodily property, cognition, credence, decubitus, defensive, defensive attitude, disposition, disrespect, ectopia, esteem, eversion, guard, hardball, high horse, inclination, intolerance, irreverence, knowledge, lithotomy position, lotus position, mannerism, mentality, mindset, mind-set, missionary position, noesis, order arms, orientation, orientation, outlook, paternalism, pose, position, posture, presentation, regard, respect, reverence, southernism, sprawl, sprawling, stance, stance, tendency, tolerance, trim

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