having the attention diverted: She tossed several rocks to the far left and slipped past the distracted sentry.
rendered incapable of behaving, reacting, etc., in a normal manner, as by worry, remorse, or the like; irrational; disturbed.

Origin of distracted

First recorded in 1580–90; distract + -ed2
Related formsdis·tract·ed·ly, adverbdis·tract·ed·ness, nounnon·dis·tract·ed, adjectivenon·dis·tract·ed·ly, adverbun·dis·tract·ed, adjectiveun·dis·tract·ed·ly, adverbun·dis·tract·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distractedly

Historical Examples of distractedly

  • "But the fellow was forever sticking in here," he burst out, distractedly.

    Tales of Unrest

    Joseph Conrad

  • I heard him slap his forehead, and say distractedly, "But perhaps she is not in a ship."


    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • "I think I've seen to everything," said Mrs. Stanton distractedly.

  • She looked at him distractedly, the fire burning through her heart.

    The Hero

    William Somerset Maugham

  • Distractedly Lady Kelsey sent messages to her nephew and to Mrs. Crowley.

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for distractedly



bewildered; confused
Derived Formsdistractedly, adverbdistractedness, noun
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