What does distraction mean?

Definitions for distraction
dɪˈstræk ʃəndis·trac·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word distraction.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distractionnoun

    mental turmoil

    "he drives me to distraction"

  2. distractionnoun

    an obstacle to attention

  3. beguilement, distractionnoun

    an entertainment that provokes pleased interest and distracts you from worries and vexations

  4. distraction, misdirectionnoun

    the act of distracting; drawing someone's attention away from something

    "conjurers are experts at misdirection"


  1. distractionnoun

    Something that distracts.

    Poking one's eye is a good distraction from a hurting toe.

  2. distractionnoun

    The process of being distracted.

    We have to reduce distraction in class if we want students to achieve good results.

  3. distractionnoun

    Perturbation; disorder; disturbance; confusion.

  4. distractionnoun

    Mental disorder; a deranged state of mind; insanity.

    The incessant nightmares drove him to distraction.

  5. Etymology: See to distract.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Distractionnoun

    Etymology: distractio, Latin.

    While he was yet in Rome,
    His power went out in such distractions as
    Beguil’d all spies. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.

    Never was known a night of such distraction;
    Noise so confus’d and dreadful; jostling crowds,
    That run, and knew not whither. John Dryden, Spanish Fryar.

    What may we not hope from him in a time of quiet and tranquillity, since, during the late distractions, he has done so much for the advantage of our trade? Joseph Addison, Freeholder.

    The distraction of the children, who saw both their parents expiring together, would have melted the hardest heart. Tatler.

    Madam, this is a meer distraction:
    You turn the good we offer into envy. William Shakespeare, H. VIII.

    So to mad Pentheus double Thebes appears,
    And furies howl in his distemper’d ears:
    Orestes so, with like distraction tost,
    Is made to fly his mother’s angry ghost. Edmund Waller.

    Commiserate all those who labour under a settled distraction, and who are shut out from all the pleasures and advantages of human commerce. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    The two armies lay quiet near each other, without improving the confusion and distraction which the king’s forces were too much inclined to. Edward Hyde, b. viii.


  1. Distraction

    Distraction is the process of diverting the attention of an individual or group from a desired area of focus and thereby blocking or diminishing the reception of desired information. Distraction is caused by: the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention. Distractions come from both external sources, and internal sources. External distractions include factors such as visual triggers, social interactions, music, text messages, and phone calls. There are also internal distractions such as hunger, fatigue, illness, worrying, and daydreaming. Both external and internal distractions contribute to the interference of focus.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distractionnoun

    the act of distracting; a drawing apart; separation

  2. Distractionnoun

    that which diverts attention; a diversion

  3. Distractionnoun

    a diversity of direction; detachment

  4. Distractionnoun

    state in which the attention is called in different ways; confusion; perplexity

  5. Distractionnoun

    confusion of affairs; tumult; disorder; as, political distractions

  6. Distractionnoun

    agitation from violent emotions; perturbation of mind; despair

  7. Distractionnoun

    derangement of the mind; madness


  1. Distraction

    Distraction is the divided attention of an individual or group from the chosen object of attention onto the source of distraction. Distraction is caused by: the lack of ability to pay attention; lack of interest in the object of attention; or the great intensity, novelty or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention. Distractions come from both external sources, and internal sources.

Suggested Resources

  1. Distraction

    Destruction vs Distraction -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Destruction and Distraction.

How to pronounce distraction?

How to say distraction in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distraction in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distraction in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of distraction in a Sentence

  1. The Justice Department:

    I'm going to let my attorney -- a small one-man shop in Philadelphia -- handle this matter. It's obviously going to be important to my constituents that this matter not be a distraction in terms of my work, and I'm going to try to have it not be a distraction.

  2. Narendra Surana:

    It is unfortunately a needless distraction for me. Now I'll be spending time answering to the regulator and stock exchange on what happened.

  3. Nick Dowling:

    Russia has been the leader in using new technologies to attack targets in covert and confusing ways. Russia is an active leader in what strategists are calling the gray zone of warfare attacks in the gray zone between war and peace, attacking U.S. diplomats in Cuba and China are likely experimentation with this weapon but also serves the political interests of antagonizing U.S. relations with Cuba and China and creates fear, disruptionand distraction among U.S. diplomats and officials.

  4. Rachael Pacella:

    I think that Wendi doing what she did served as enough of a distraction that maybe Phil Davis didn't see us, i absolutely think that Wendi Winters saved my life.

  5. Brianna Vorhees:

    Samantha Smith was a positive outlet for me, i was going through a terrible time with a lot of transitions in my life personally, and Rae was a very positive distraction from a lot of things that were taking place in my life. Samantha Smith's actually the one who saved me. I could focus on Samantha Smith to take care of Samantha Smith to love and get love back, and Samantha Smith was that for me, and kind of that's why Samantha Smith means so much to me.

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Translations for distraction

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"distraction." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 May 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distraction>.

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    move deeply
    • A. conform
    • B. interrogate
    • C. conceal
    • D. disturb

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