distract


1dis·tract

adjective \di-ˈstrakt, ˈdis-ˌtrakt\

Definition of DISTRACT

archaic
:  insane, mad

First Known Use of DISTRACT

14th century

2dis·tract

verb \di-ˈstrakt\

: to cause (someone) to stop thinking about or paying attention to someone or something and to think about or pay attention to someone or something else instead

: to take (attention) away from someone or something

Full Definition of DISTRACT

transitive verb
1
a :  to turn aside :  divert <refused to be distracted from her purpose>
b :  to draw or direct (as one's attention) to a different object or in different directions at the same time <was distracted by a sudden noise>
2
:  to stir up or confuse with conflicting emotions or motives
dis·tract·i·bil·i·ty \-ˌstrak-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
dis·tract·ible also dis·tract·able \-ˈstrak-tə-bəl\ adjective
dis·tract·ing·ly \-tiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of DISTRACT

  1. You sneak into his room while I distract him.
  2. He was distracted from his studies.
  3. The students are easily distracted, especially when they're tired.
  4. I was distracted by a loud noise.
  5. The local story distracted attention from news of the war overseas.

Origin of DISTRACT

Middle English, from Latin distractus, past participle of distrahere, literally, to draw apart, from dis- + trahere to draw
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to DISTRACT

Synonyms
abstract, call off, detract, divert, throw off
Antonyms
calm, compose, quiet, settle, soothe, tranquilize (also tranquillize)
See Synonym Discussion at puzzle

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