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distract

[dih-strakt] /dɪˈstrækt/
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.
adjective
5.
Obsolete, distracted.
Origin
1350-1400
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
distractible, adjective
distractingly, adverb
nondistracting, adjective
nondistractingly, adverb
undistracting, adjective
undistractingly, adverb
Synonyms
2. bewilder, agitate, pain, torment, distress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for distracting
  • They were no longer mere shows, distracting the spectator from the main theme of the drama, but helps to the understanding of it.
  • If the background is distracting, the moment will be difficult to see.
  • If you focus on your subject's eyes, your background will be out of focus and less distracting.
  • Some might see this as distracting, but for many it's a form of public note-taking and active listening.
  • Interesting little piece, but the typos are distracting.
  • Oh, the husband would let me, but it would be distracting.
  • And it will be financed smartly and professionally, with a view toward the main event and a wariness of distracting sideshows.
  • The chord changes are interesting but not distracting.
  • You'll want to be sure to minimize these in the proposal, to avoid their distracting from a more central idea.
  • The alpha waves help suppress irrelevant or distracting sensory information.
British Dictionary definitions for distracting

distract

/dɪˈstrækt/
verb (transitive)
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
Derived Forms
distracter, noun
distractible, adjective
distractibility, noun
distracting, adjective
distractingly, adverb
distractive, adjective
distractively, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for distracting

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
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