distract

[ dih-strakt ]
/ dɪˈstrækt /

verb (used with object)

to draw away or divert, as the mind or attention: The music distracted him from his work.
to disturb or trouble greatly in mind; beset: Grief distracted him.
to provide a pleasant diversion for; amuse; entertain: I'm bored with bridge, but golf still distracts me.
to separate or divide by dissension or strife.

adjective

Obsolete. distracted.

Nearby words

  1. distortedly,
  2. distortion,
  3. distortion aberration,
  4. distoversion,
  5. distr.,
  6. distracted,
  7. distracted driving,
  8. distractibility,
  9. distracting,
  10. distraction

Origin of distract

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin distractus (past participle of distrahere to draw apart), equivalent to dis- dis-1 + trac- (variant stem of trahere to draw) + -tus past participle suffix

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distract


British Dictionary definitions for distract

distract

/ (dɪˈstrækt) /

verb (tr)

(often passive) to draw the attention of (a person) away from something
to divide or confuse the attention of (a person)
to amuse or entertain
to trouble greatly
to make mad
Derived Forms

Word Origin for distract

C14: from Latin distractus perplexed, from distrahere to pull in different directions, from dis- 1 + trahere to drag

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

Word Origin and History for distract

distract

v.

mid-14c., "to draw asunder or apart, to turn aside" (literal and figurative), from Latin distractus, past participle of distrahere "draw in different directions," from dis- "away" (see dis-) + trahere "to draw" (see tract (n.1)).

Sense of "to throw into a state of mind in which one knows not how to act" is from 1580s. Related: Distracted; distracting; distractedly; distractedness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper