Word of the Day

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


\dis-TRAY\ , adjective;
Divided or withdrawn in attention, especially because of anxiety.
Yet when she stopped for a cup of coffee, finding herself too distrait to begin work, the picture was in the course of being removed from the window.
-- Anita Brookner, Falling Slowly
He had painfully written out a first draft, and he intoned it now like a poet delicate and distrait.
-- Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt
Virtually nobody noticed a more private and simultaneous cameo in a little bay in West Cork: of a delicate, somewhat distrait, gentleman of middle age being swept into the turbulent waters off Kilcrohane.
-- Kevin Myers, "An Irishman's Diary", Irish Times, July 21, 1999
Distrait is from Old French, from distraire, "to distract," from Latin distrahere, "to pull apart; to draw away; to distract," from dis- + trahere, "to draw, to pull." It is related to distraught and distracted, which have the same Latin source.
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