Definition of distract in English:

distract

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Prevent (someone) from giving full attention to something.

    ‘don't allow noise to distract you from your work’
    ‘she found his nearness distracting’
    • ‘The color should not distract your reader from the main points of your site.’
    • ‘For the most part the colors and image are solid, with little to distract the viewer.’
    • ‘In truth, the emphasis on individual feelings distracts people from thinking about and caring for their communities.’
    • ‘For a split second utter confusion distracted me from my misery.’
    • ‘You may be able to prevent your child from having an outburst by distracting him or her with toys or other activities.’
    • ‘I don't know if we've got enough bananas to distract him.’
    • ‘It distracted him enough to prevent a quick victory, but not enough to let Jeremy win.’
    • ‘Now I'm rambling, but these thoughts distract me from concentrating on my work and I must let them out.’
    • ‘And there's no perfect person who's going to distract you long enough.’
    • ‘The latter keeps the display from distracting the driver when he should be concentrating on more important tasks.’
    • ‘Reverting back to a glossary distracts a reader from concentrating on the science in an article.’
    • ‘I did notice a small amount of softness in one scene, though it won't be distracting to the viewing.’
    • ‘Traci distracted the ref and Douglas hit Daniels with a chain.’
    • ‘However, Coleman's limited critique should not distract readers from recognizing the broader legal landscape depicted in the article.’
    • ‘The more extraneous items you cram on a web page, the more you confuse and distract the visitor.’
    • ‘A small amount of softness permeates the image, though overall it's never overly distracting to the viewing.’
    • ‘The police have even condemned certain billboard adverts for distracting drivers resulting in more crashes.’
    • ‘And I believe this devotion to sport distracts people from their own lives, making it by definition an opiate of masses.’
    • ‘There is some softness to the image that becomes a bit distracting at times.’
    • ‘I have to admit, while a nice attempt, it is a bit distracting at times.’
    disturbing, unsettling, intrusive, disconcerting, bothersome, confusing
    divert, deflect, sidetrack, turn aside, turn away, draw away
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Divert (attention) from something.
      ‘it was another attempt to distract attention from the truth’
      • ‘The kind of event meant to distract from a glaring budget fact.’
      • ‘A large rumbling noise distracted their attention for a moment.’
      • ‘The use of fashions in thought is to distract the attention of men from their real dangers.’
      • ‘It has nearly caused three accidents already because it distracts motorists' attention.’
      • ‘The people, however, provided enough colour in the way they dressed to distract my attention from the rundown streets.’
      • ‘Milling over the thought too much would distract my attention so I averted myself back to the problem at hand.’
      • ‘There is always a danger that new hi-tech systems will distract attention and divert energies from effective policing.’
      • ‘The shovel fell and clattered to the floor behind the monster, whose attention was momentarily distracted.’
      • ‘"It distracts from the real issues facing our community, " he says.’
      • ‘Women have reason to be relieved that Parliament's attention was distracted.’
      • ‘Remember, Gilligan made possible Alastair Campbell's diversionary tactic that distracted attention from the argument about the need for war.’
      • ‘The videos apparently distract the viewer's attention from the song to the meaningless portrayal of carnal desires.’
      • ‘They suffer from a semi-religious monomania which distracts attention from the major issues in their field.’
      • ‘He's only trying to distract attention from all his problems at home.’
      • ‘Some were suggesting that his interest was overblown to distract attention from the company's poor trading statement.’
      • ‘As traffic safety managers see it, the use of a cellphone distracts the attention of the driver from the main task of driving.’
      • ‘Striking the martyr pose is good public relations because it distracts attention from the real issues.’
      • ‘Don't let the infamous bag lady distract your attention from the real issues.’
      • ‘At the same time, we should not allow it to distract attention from the need for reform of the SIS's general oversight provisions.’
      • ‘The argument of menfolk in not allowing women to enter the mosque is that this will distract the attention of men.’
    2. 1.2distract oneself Divert one's attention from something worrying or unpleasant by doing something different or more pleasurable.
      ‘I tried to distract myself by concentrating on Jane’
      • ‘I was distracting myself from utter frustration with a project and surfing the blogroll.’
      • ‘So anyway, I distracted myself until I decided that the distraction could be a school in and of itself.’
      • ‘Don't waste energy fruitlessly pursuing it; distract yourself with something productive, be it whittling, knitting or washing dishes.’
      • ‘You are thinking incredibly wrongly and are only distracting yourself from enjoying the rest of this.’
      • ‘They walked in silence into the woods, and Jonathon focused most of his attention on the scenery to distract himself.’
      • ‘The day, or the week, is spent distracting myself.’
      • ‘So, are you so over-committed because you're distracting yourself from the absurdity and meaninglessness of life?’
      • ‘I found this while distracting myself at my friend Jas's site.’
      • ‘The rest of the time I kept on distracting myself by looking at the trees through the big window behind her.’
      • ‘Sometimes all you can do is distract yourself until it passes.’
    3. 1.3archaic Perplex and bewilder.
      ‘horror and doubt distract His troubl'd thoughts’

Origin

Late Middle English (also in the sense ‘pull in different directions’): from Latin distract- ‘drawn apart’, from the verb distrahere, from dis- ‘apart’ + trahere ‘to draw, drag’.

Pronunciation

distract

/dəˈstrakt//dəˈstrækt/