Definition of distraction in English:



  • 1A thing that prevents someone from concentrating on something else.

    ‘the firm found passenger travel a distraction from the main business of moving freight’
    • ‘The technical character of the discussion over degree classification is a distraction from the real problems in the education sector.’
    • ‘It is also true that the government's foreign adventures provide a convenient distraction from its domestic problems.’
    • ‘The suggestion is that such property development is a distraction from their core business and, therefore, a bad thing.’
    • ‘When I won young journalist of the year in 1988 it seemed an irritating distraction to go to London for the ceremony.’
    • ‘Often, this much-maligned contest is dismissed as a needless distraction from the bread and butter of the League.’
    • ‘Or is it that it is a distraction from the serious everyday issues?’
    • ‘We asked the lead flight director if this was a distraction to his team or for that matter to the crew in general.’
    • ‘He also knew that, if Ally didn't have a distraction, she would inadvertently be a distraction to him.’
    • ‘It is going to cost them not only in their bond rating but in the distraction from the major concerns which Californians have.’
    • ‘Junior faculty members, in particular, want to ensure that their blogs are not a distraction from their primary research.’
    • ‘All forms of bloodsports are an unnecessary distraction from genuine wildlife conservation.’
    • ‘I realised I was more of a distraction to myself than others.’
    • ‘I agree that it might be just a distraction to have computers lying about in the classroom while studying some other subject.’
    • ‘This concentration on the stand-alone card price as a distraction from scheme cost is dealt with in more detail here.’
    • ‘However, this is just a distraction from the main issue.’
    • ‘Instead, questions about local matters provided an unnecessary distraction from the power of Keys' message.’
    • ‘This allows concentration on counseling without as strong a distraction from the paraphiliac urges.’
    • ‘It's also a distraction from implementation of more-effective security measures.’
    • ‘And I have some freelance work to do, which is a tiresome distraction from knitting, but very welcome income boost.’
    • ‘The whole Christmas season is a distraction from the weather.’
    diversion, interruption, disturbance, intrusion, interference, obstruction, hindrance
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    1. 1.1 A diversion or recreation.
      ‘there are plenty of distractions such as sailing’
      mass noun ‘he roved the district in search of distraction’
      • ‘He well and truly was at a loss, eyes desperately searching the cafeteria in search of Kaoru or a distraction.’
      • ‘He thought that in hard times, people needed the distraction of games.’
      • ‘It is up to you to be more interesting to your pup than all the other distractions out in the yard.’
      • ‘It's a welcome distraction on long winter evenings to keep you from going nuts with cabin fever.’
      • ‘Video games may have started out as a distraction for kids, costing just a quarter at the neighborhood arcade.’
      • ‘We could entertain our minds with all kinds of thoughts and distractions.’
      • ‘She sensed that a scream would be inappropriate, however, and she looked to the table as she searched for a distraction.’
      • ‘Those sailors not hosting visitors had a number of other distractions, including sports fixtures and a community project.’
      • ‘There is no super model, superstar girlfriend by Rivaldo's side; no distractions but football.’
      • ‘I warned of a blogging hiatus at the beginning of the day, but I'm actually finding it to be a useful distraction from thinking.’
      • ‘Thus, the approaching ruckus was a welcome distraction from his musings and his insomnia.’
      • ‘New Zealand has many worthy distractions, but it was the skiing we came for and it was mostly skiing we did.’
      • ‘We see it as a distraction from our jobs through the week.’
      • ‘My other sister and brother-in-law have worked hard to provide my kids with distraction and diversion.’
      • ‘If you haven't filed yet, thanks for choosing The Mudville Gazette as your distraction from the task at hand.’
      • ‘The football offered a welcome distraction, but it wasn't to last.’
      • ‘But the cup will give the club a much-needed distraction from these worries - and hopefully the shot in the arm they need.’
      • ‘The little distractions and diversions that once seemed to add to the richness of the texture now feel like unfocused rambling.’
      • ‘I urge readers looking for an amusing distraction to visit The 419 Eater's trophy room.’
      • ‘The music is quite repetitive and without the distraction of the aerial dynamics it would be quite flat.’
      amusement, entertainment, diversion, activity, pastime, recreation, interest, hobby, game, leisure pursuit, occupation, divertissement
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  • 2mass noun Extreme agitation of the mind.

    ‘her uncharacteristic air of distraction’
    • ‘Loathing and distraction stop the insanity and music clears the soul.’
    • ‘Back home, Paula watches her husband's distraction with caution.’
    • ‘Our mind needs to be stable, free from distraction and discursiveness.’
    • ‘I was conscious of the fact that I was giving myself a fighting chance by not doing anything to cause him any distraction.’
    • ‘Pete has been driven to such distraction lately he is now muttering about consoling himself by munching on a fine Alsatian steak.’
    • ‘You know, most people are living especially on the coasts, between distraction and frenzy.’
    • ‘The prevailing air of distraction was unfortunate, for Fox may have something important to say.’
    frenzy, hysteria, mental distress, madness, insanity, wildness, mania, derangement, delirium
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  • to distraction

    • Almost to a state of madness.

      ‘she loved him to distraction’
      • ‘Motorists visiting Manchester for Christmas are being driven to distraction by ‘ghost’ car park signs.’
      • ‘Second, the Star & Sickle, otherwise known as the Star Tribune, already loves Alice to distraction.’
      • ‘I drove my parents to distraction playing the Spy Who Loved me with its squidgy car chase sound track every weekend as a kid.’
      • ‘Have you never been driven to distraction by a grasping building contractor?’
      • ‘I love the two children I have got to distraction and they, or any other babies born in to the world for that matter, are welcome to me.’
      • ‘Anand is debonair and driven to distraction, in Cary Grant-esque fashion.’
      • ‘Since Ellis, who had made his fortune in the travel business, took over at Villa Park, 11 managers have been driven to distraction by him.’
      • ‘Driven to distraction by London, and missing Skye, he's even started to fantasise about the drab flatlands of Essex.’
      • ‘I'm sure they'll be driving their opponents to distraction with their new tracksuits when they get to Barbados.’
      • ‘She has a lovely home, nice things around her and a child who loves her to distraction.’
      • ‘After all, I'm driven to distraction by the incorrect and inconsistent use of the comma in practically every publication I read.’
      • ‘Motorists are being driven to distraction by a roadworks nightmare.’
      • ‘Most of the aircraft were on free lease (the technical term was ‘bailed’) from the US Air Force, which drove the USAF liaison people to distraction.’
      intensely, fervently, wildly, unrestrainedly, enthusiastically, completely
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Late Middle English: from Latin distractio(n-), from the verb distrahere (see distract).