What does distract mean?

Definitions for distract

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word distract.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distract, deflectverb

    draw someone's attention away from something

    "The thief distracted the bystanders"; "He deflected his competitors"

  2. perturb, unhinge, disquiet, trouble, cark, distract, disorderverb

    disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed

    "She was rather perturbed by the news that her father was seriously ill"


  1. distractverb

    To divert the attention of.

    The crowd was distracted by a helicopter hovering over the stadium when the only goal of the game was scored.

  2. Etymology: From distrahere, from dis- + trahere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DISTRACTverb

    part. pass. destracted; anciently destraught.

    Etymology: distractus, Latin.

    By sea, by sea.
    —— Most worthy sir, you therein throw away
    The absolute soldiership you have by land;
    Distract your army, which doth most consist
    Of war-mark’d footmen. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.

    If he cannot wholly avoid the eye of the observer, he hopes to distract it by a multiplicity of the object. Robert South, Sermons.

    While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. Ps. lxxxviii. 15.

    Come, cousin, can’st thou quake, and change thy colour,
    Murther thy breath in middle of a word,
    And then again begin, and stop again,
    As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror? William Shakespeare, R. III.

    It would burst forth; but I recover breath,
    And sense distract, to know well what I utter. John Milton, Agonist.

    He possesses a quiet and cheerful mind, not afflicted with violent passions, or distracted with immoderate cares. John Ray.

    If our sense of hearing were a thousand times quicker than it is, how would a perpetual noise distract us? We should, in the quietest retirement, be less able to sleep or meditate than in the middle of a sea-fight. John Locke.

    Wherefore throng you hither?
    ———— To fetch my poor distracted husband hence:
    Let us come in, that we may bind him fast,
    And bear him home for his recovery. William Shakespeare, Com. of Err.

    Better I were distract,
    So should my thoughts be sever’d from my griefs,
    And woes, by wrong imagination, lose
    The knowledge of themselves. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    She was unable, in strength of mind, to bear the grief of his decease, and fell distracted of her wits. Francis Bacon, Hen. VII.

    You shall find a distracted man fancy himself a king, and with a right inference require suitable attendance, respect, and obedience. John Locke.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distractadjective

    separated; drawn asunder

  2. Distractadjective

    insane; mad

  3. Distractverb

    to draw apart or away; to divide; to disjoin

  4. Distractverb

    to draw (the sight, mind, or attention) in different directions; to perplex; to confuse; as, to distract the eye; to distract the attention

  5. Distractverb

    to agitate by conflicting passions, or by a variety of motives or of cares; to confound; to harass

  6. Distractverb

    to unsettle the reason of; to render insane; to craze; to madden; -- most frequently used in the participle, distracted

  7. Etymology: [L. distractus, p. p. of distrahere to draw asunder; dis- + trahere to draw. See Trace, and cf. Distraught.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distract

    dis-trakt′, v.t. to draw in different directions—applied to the mind or attention: to confuse: to harass: to render crazy: to divert.—adj. Distract′ed.—adv. Distract′edly.—n. Distract′edness.—adjs. Distract′ible; Distract′ile (bot.), carried widely apart.—n. Distrac′tion, state of being distracted: perplexity: agitation: madness: a diversion.—adj. Distract′ive, causing perplexity.

How to pronounce distract?

How to say distract in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distract in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distract in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of distract in a Sentence

  1. Heidi Cruz:

    I can assure you that Ted is in no way beholden to Goldman Sachs, so there are a lot of false suggestions out there because I think some are trying to distract from how well Ted's doing in this election.

  2. Oscar Antonio Gomez Heredia:

    The vandal threat we are facing consists of a criminal organization that is hiding behind legitimate social aspirations to destabilize the society, generate terror and distract the actions of the public force.

  3. Pete Leffler:

    I like Biden, though I am still undecided. But we can't let Trump drag us down into these silly debates that only distract from his own problems.

  4. Antony Blinken:

    The demands that Russia put on the table were beyond excessive, they were, of course, nonstarters, and what we've seen repeatedly is that Russia goes through the pretense of diplomacy to distract and continue on its aggressive path.

  5. Oksana Chusovitina:

    Many people thought that I was competing to provide medical treatment to my child, but it was the whole world that helped me to collect money for Alisher's treatment. This was not in any way related to my career. I was training to distract Oksana Chusovitina from everything that was going on at the hospital.

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Translations for distract

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    diverge from the expected
    • A. excogitate
    • B. fluster
    • C. aberrate
    • D. descant

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