manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind:
a negative attitude; group attitudes.
position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.:
a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude.
Aeronautics. the inclination of the three principal axes of an aircraft relative to the wind, to the ground, etc.
Ballet. a pose in which the dancer stands on one leg, the other bent behind.
Contemporary Examples

The beneficiaries of this attitudinal shift are Hindu nationalists.
Hold Onto Your Penis David Frum, Justin Green November 28, 2012

Still, attitudinal barriers about the value of mental health care seemed to be be the biggest obstacle.
The Taboo of Mental Illness Justin Green December 16, 2012

Historical Examples

The reference is to attitudinal response, to Weltanschauung.
Piper in the Woods Philip K. Dick

the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way
a theatrical pose created for effect (esp in the phrase strike an attitude)
a position of the body indicating mood or emotion
(informal) a hostile manner: don’t give me attitude, my girl
the orientation of an aircraft’s axes in relation to some plane, esp the horizontal See also axis1 (sense 1)
the orientation of a spacecraft in relation to its direction of motion
(ballet) a classical position in which the body is upright and one leg raised and bent behind

1831, from Italian attitudine (see attitude) + -al (1).

1660s, via French attitude (17c.), from Italian attitudine “disposition, posture,” also “aptness, promptitude,” from Late Latin aptitudinem (nominative aptitudo; see aptitude). Originally 17c. a technical term in art for the posture of a figure in a statue or painting; later generalized to “a posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state” (1725). Sense of “settled behavior reflecting feeling or opinion” is first recorded 1837. Connotations of “antagonistic and uncooperative” developed by 1962 in slang.

attitude at·ti·tude (āt’ĭ-tōōd’, -tyōōd’)

The position of the body and limbs; posture.

A manner of acting.

A relatively stable and enduring predisposition to behave or react in a characteristic way.


A resentful and hostile manner; pugnacity (Black & prison)

Related Terms

have an attitude


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