Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-strak-shuh n] /dɪˈstræk ʃən/
the act of distracting.
the state of being distracted.
mental distress or derangement:
That child will drive me to distraction.
that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration:
The distractions of the city interfere with my studies.
that which amuses, entertains, or diverts; amusement; entertainment:
Fishing is his major distraction.
division or disorder caused by dissension; tumult.
Origin of distraction
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin distractiōn- (stem of distractiō) separation. See distract, -ion
3. madness, lunacy, insanity, craziness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for distraction
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Unluckily, her husband had not the same source of distraction.

  • If there was distraction for our troops at all, it was perhaps at the collection.

    The Greater Love George T. McCarthy
  • For awhile hope and fear kept him in a state bordering on distraction.

    Nature and Art Mrs. Inchbald
  • At last he behaved with the inconsistency of distraction and hesitation.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • Miss Monro was, perhaps, very wise in proposing the translation of a difficult part of Dante for a distraction to Ellinor.

    A Dark Night's Work Elizabeth Gaskell
British Dictionary definitions for distraction


the act or an instance of distracting or the state of being distracted
something that serves as a diversion or entertainment
an interruption; an obstacle to concentration
mental turmoil or madness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for distraction

mid-15c., "the drawing away of the mind," from Latin distractionem (nominative distractio) "a pulling apart, separating," noun of action from past participle stem of distrahere (see distract). Meaning "mental disturbance" (in driven to distraction, etc.) is c.1600. Meaning "a thing or fact that distracts" is from 1610s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
distraction in Medicine

distraction dis·trac·tion (dĭ-strāk'shən)

  1. A condition or state of mind in which the attention is diverted from an original focus or interest.

  2. Separation of bony fragments or joint surfaces of a limb by extension.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for distraction

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for distraction

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for distraction