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distract

[dih-strakt]
verb (used with object)
  1. to draw away or divert, as the mind or attention: The music distracted him from his work.
  2. to disturb or trouble greatly in mind; beset: Grief distracted him.
  3. to provide a pleasant diversion for; amuse; entertain: I'm bored with bridge, but golf still distracts me.
  4. to separate or divide by dissension or strife.
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adjective
  1. Obsolete. distracted.
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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 formsdis·tract·i·ble, adjectivedis·tract·ing·ly, adverbnon·dis·tract·ing, adjectivenon·dis·tract·ing·ly, adverbun·dis·tract·ing, adjectiveun·dis·tract·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for distract

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for distractible

Historical Examples of distractible

  • Then ten months after admission she one day suddenly became talkative, distractible and emotional, laughing and crying.

    Benign Stupors

    August Hoch


British Dictionary definitions for distractible

distract

verb (tr)
  1. (often passive) to draw the attention of (a person) away from something
  2. to divide or confuse the attention of (a person)
  3. to amuse or entertain
  4. to trouble greatly
  5. to make mad
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Derived Formsdistracter, noundistractible, adjectivedistractibility, noundistracting, adjectivedistractingly, adverbdistractive, adjectivedistractively, adverb

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 distractible

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper