- 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.
- Obsolete. distracted.
Origin of distract
Synonyms for distract
Examples from the Web for distractingly
Historical Examples of distractingly
Ah, that was distractingly complicated, that way of sitting down.My Double Life
I shall be distractingly fond of frills all the rest of my life.
She powdered her nose and looked penitent and distractingly pretty.Affinities and Other Stories
Mary Roberts Rinehard
I'd no idea how to stop the thing Which now distractingly began to ring.Home Lyrics
Hannah S. Battersby
He had not forgotten how distractingly pretty she was when she blushed.The Road to Understanding
Eleanor H. Porter
- (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
Word Origin for distract
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.