dis·​tract·​ed | \ di-ˈstrak-təd How to pronounce distracted (audio) \

Definition of distracted

1 : having one's thoughts or attention drawn away : unable to concentrate or give attention to something a distracted driver … everyone else … is too distracted to see how lost and yearning she has become …— Richard Schickel … used to get so distracted by cellphone conversations overheard on the bus that she couldn't focus on reading.— Roni Caryn Rabin
2 : harassed, confused, or deranged especially by strong feelings a mind distracted by grief … putting that poor gentleman through a course of questions that nearly drove him distracted.— Louisa May Alcott

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Other Words from distracted

distractedly adverb
distractedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for distracted

abstracted, preoccupied, absent, absentminded, distracted mean inattentive to what claims or demands consideration. abstracted implies absorption of the mind in something other than one's surroundings, and often suggests reflection on weighty matters. walking about with an abstracted air preoccupied often implies having one's attention so taken up by thoughts as to neglect others. too preoccupied with her debts to enjoy the meal absent stresses inability to fix the mind on present concerns due more to mental wandering than to concentration on other matters. an absent stare absentminded implies that the mind is fixed elsewhere and often refers to a habit of abstractedness. so absentminded, he's been known to wear mismatched shoes distracted may suggest an inability to concentrate caused by worry, sorrow, or anxiety. was too distracted by grief to continue working

Examples of distracted in a Sentence

If you're feeling distracted, take a break. she's been distracted about her son ever since he left on that polar expedition
Recent Examples on the Web For Slosberg, who had proposed anti-distracted driving legislation since 2017, the fight is personal. Scott Maxwell, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida’s texting-while-driving law rarely enforced, data shows," 19 Mar. 2021 The distracted leaders couldn’t negotiate that subtle yet complex nonverbal interaction with their counterpart at the head of the approaching group. Matt Simon, Wired, "People Who Text While Walking Actually Do Ruin Everything," 17 Mar. 2021 In 2019, the latest figures available, Florida recorded more than 56,000 crashes and nearly 300 deaths blamed on distracted driving, which includes texting. Scott Maxwell, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida’s texting-while-driving law rarely enforced, data shows," 19 Mar. 2021 The number of distracted drivers and those under the influence of drugs or alcohol is frightening enough, even without speeds as a factor. Steve Lopez Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Our other pandemic — speeding cars and lost lives," 13 Mar. 2021 The lampposts in front of the entrance lent the road only a distracted sort of light. Ew Staff, EW.com, "Read an excerpt from Jeff Vandermeer's new endangered species conspiracy novel Hummingbird Salamander," 4 Mar. 2021 The poll, produced for a coalition backing the governor’s proposal, found that 48% of the 1,000 respondents who participated said distracted driving was the biggest danger, compared to 22% who said drunken drivers. cleveland, "As more Ohio kids return to classrooms, lawmakers scramble to rewrite testing requirements: Capitol Letter," 1 Mar. 2021 Supporters — including crash victims, law enforcement, paramedics and insurance companies — argued unsuccessfully that allowing distracted driving infringes even more on the rights of innocent people hurt or killed because of it. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Here are some major moves by Utah’s Legislature with just days before the session ends," 27 Feb. 2021 Responding to the disconnect between the board’s distracted focus and the needs of families, city Supervisor Hillary Ronen is proposing two changes. Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco's school board is wasting time on ridiculous debates as students remain home," 13 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distracted.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of distracted

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for distracted

Time Traveler

The first known use of distracted was in 1576

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Statistics for distracted

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distracted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distracted. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for distracted



English Language Learners Definition of distracted

: unable to think about or pay attention to something : unable to concentrate

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