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

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 Instructors can teach you about the aspects of meditation that aren't intuitive or obvious, such as that having thoughts or a distracted mind is OK, Waldinger said. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 13 June 2022 Yet America is too preoccupied, too distracted, too overwhelmed to act accordingly. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 11 June 2022 The analysis focused on the dangerous driving behaviors that are among the greatest contributors to fatal crashes: not buckling up; speeding; and drunk, distracted and aggressive driving. Tanya Mohn, Forbes, 8 June 2022 But these touches, not to mention the many needle drops from the era’s perkiest pop and soul, seem hardly necessary when Rylance’s shuffling, quirky brand of distracted optimism is its own engine of folksy positivity. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2022 There’s some final-act business back in London that ruminates for a distracted second on the uses of enchantment in a modern world in which hate prevails and just about every wish can be instantly gratified by technology. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2022 The woman walking past was Twitter, the disapproving other woman was Tesla, and the distracted man was of course Elon Musk. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 20 May 2022 Safety advocates blame speeding, distracted or impaired driving and not wearing seat belts. Fox News, 19 May 2022 The same cannot be said for Willis, whose distracted and empty performance as the main heavy is hard to watch after the news of his Aphasia diagnosis. Rene Rodriguez, Variety, 17 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of distracted

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of distracted was in 1576

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Last Updated

26 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distracted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distracted. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on distracted

Nglish: Translation of distracted for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distracted for Arabic Speakers


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