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 Today, officers in most departments across the state, including the highway patrol, cannot stop cars driven by distracted drivers over 18 and charge them, unless there is another reason, such as speeding, weaving or driving through a red light. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Death toll climbs again on Ohio roads; authorities blame distracted driving," 29 Dec. 2019 Drivers can expect to see more troopers on I-94 cracking down on commercial motor vehicle violations, such as distracted driving, following too close, improper passing, speeding and improper lane use during this time. Bisma Parvez, Detroit Free Press, "Drivers, take note: Michigan State Police plans to crack down on I-94 this week," 9 Dec. 2019 Safe 2 Save, a safe driving app that aims to stop distracted driving, has partnered with all Houston-area McDonald’s locations, allowing users to exchange points for menu items including Big Macs, hash browns and sausage burritos. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "App’s partnership with McDonald’s lets safe drivers earn free food," 25 June 2019 Troopers are investigating whether there was any distracted driving. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "State Police release Toledo man held in crash that killed 1-year-old boy," 10 Dec. 2019 Researchers say the demographic most likely to experience injury while distracted on a cell phone are those ages 13 to 29 A new study has identified an upward trend in injuries associated with cell phone usage. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "No More Walking and Texting! Injuries Soar as People Are Distracted by Smartphones, Study Says," 6 Dec. 2019 Fernando Molina for Quartz Reflection, and the clarity that can come after it, are the ultimate luxury in our harried and distracted times. Ephrat Livni, Quartz at Work, "Would you dare take a talent assessment inspired by the testing methods of the IDF?," 25 Nov. 2019 One of Mr Putin’s skills is an ability to spot openings presented by a mix of fragile states and a distracted West. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin flaunts Russia’s increasing influence in Africa," 24 Oct. 2019 The failure to sufficiently alter the dynamics of the squad over the summer has allowed that mentality to leak into the new season and the result is this series of tired, distracted performances. James Masters, CNN, "Manchester United, Tottenham and Everton: Is it time to stick or twist?," 18 Oct. 2019

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

5 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distracted.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distracted. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for distracted


How to pronounce distracted (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of distracted

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

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