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

1425–75; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin distractiōn- (stem of distractiō) separation. See distract, -ion

Synonyms for distraction

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

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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

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

distraction in Medicine




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