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[dih-strak-shuh n] /dɪˈstræk ʃən/
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.
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin distractiōn- (stem of distractiō) separation. See distract, -ion
3. madness, lunacy, insanity, craziness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for distractions
  • As in any field season, we've had a series of distractions and small annoyances.
  • We count off any distractions, a tenth of a point for each.
  • Perhaps the converse is the truth: people who are more susceptible to distractions are more apt to multi-task.
  • Of course, it is genuinely difficult for children to ignore distractions and dedicate themselves to a task at hand.
  • Such continued distractions only wire and rewire the brain become more and more receptive to stress and unhappiness.
  • GO placidly amid the hot links and the distractions, and remember what peace there may be in unplugging.
  • We need breaks to quell stress, lower inhibiting hormone levels, clear out distractions and extend energy reserves.
  • The distractions, visual and aural, are impossible to block out in any sort of an open environment.
  • And that was in the absence of traffic noise or other distractions.
  • In theory less distractions means better driving behavior.
British Dictionary definitions for distractions


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
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Word Origin and History for distractions



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
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distractions in Medicine

distraction dis·trac·tion (dĭ-strāk'shən)

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

  2. 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.
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