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.


  1. distraction

    A distraction is something that turns one's attention away from a main focus or task, often causing interruption or preventing concentration. It can be an external stimuli or internal thoughts that shift your focus, causing temporary diversion or confusion.

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. Donald Trump:

    That is, I guess, the ultimate distraction from what's really going on in this country which is, you have a Republican president, a very conservative president, who is getting stuff done, and they can't handle that. They will do anything they can to try to stop that, to try to block that, to try to prevent that from happening.

  2. Mike Daube:

    We have seen more than six decades of tobacco industry distraction products, promotions and deceptions, they revelled in advertising that implied both reduced risks and even health benefits.

  3. Patrick Kane:

    This has been an incredibly difficult time for many people. I cannot apologize enough for the distraction this has caused my family, my teammates, this incredible organization, and of course our fans, while I have too much respect for the legal process to comment on an ongoing matter, I am confident that once all the facts are brought to light, I will be absolved of having done nothing wrong.

  4. Emily Thornberry:

    We need to be absolutely sure that we are not going to end up in a situation where the general election is used as a distraction whilst they (the government) by some cunning wheeze bounce us out of the European Union without a deal.

  5. Chipotle Cultivate Foundation:

    Clearly, Chipotle has reached a point where a company, or group of companies, feels threatened by what we are doing, and they are lashing out with this attack from the Center. chipotle’s attempt at distraction by referencing tobacco seeks to avoid answering our criticism that they are promotingdiscredited food science.

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Translations for distraction

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"distraction." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distraction>.

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