dis·​trac·​tion | \ di-ˈstrak-shən How to pronounce distraction (audio) \

Definition of distraction

1 : something that distracts : an object that directs one's attention away from something else turned off her phone to limit distractions One created a distraction while the other grabbed the money. especially : amusement a harmless distraction a book of word puzzles and other distractions
2 : the act of distracting or the state of being distracted especially : mental confusion driven to distraction by their endless chatter

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Other Words from distraction

distractive \ di-​ˈstrak-​tiv How to pronounce distractive (audio) \ adjective

Examples of distraction in a Sentence

It was hard to work with so many distractions. One of them created a distraction while the other grabbed the money. A weekend at the beach was a good distraction from her troubles. Their endless chatter drove her to distraction.
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Recent Examples on the Web Avoid distractions such as music or cell phones and keep your eyes on the road and traffic. oregonlive, "Portland metro Thursday traffic: Fog, slick spots, for morning commute," 13 Feb. 2020 As millions of Chinese citizens stay home from work and school for days on end, many have turned to video games, movies, and social media for a distraction. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "How coronavirus is upending Big Tech," 11 Feb. 2020 One of the most interesting evolutions of the K-pop fancam is its transition from praise to distraction. Natalie Morin, refinery29.com, "Thirsty “Fancams” Are Taking Over Twitter & We Have K-Pop To Thank," 11 Feb. 2020 Those aboard have internet access, satellite TV, video on demand and other distractions. USA Today, "Visual guide of the cruise ship quarantined by the coronavirus," 11 Feb. 2020 Located in a remote valley in the California High Desert, the Off-grid itHouse is a serene escape from distractions. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "You Can Finally Put Your Phone Down at This Sustainable, Secluded Airbnb in the Desert," 11 Feb. 2020 In a city with more pressing issues to address, the arguments over our official symbol have been, to put it kindly, an unfortunate distraction. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It may be the People's Flag for much of Milwaukee, but that wasn't good enough for the Common Council," 6 Feb. 2020 As a distraction method, Crews took the stage, held up his flashlight and made his pecs dance for the crowd. Nicole Pajer, Billboard, "Here's What Went Down at Steven Tyler's Grammy Viewing Party," 27 Jan. 2020 These show-offy sequences act as distractions rather than adding to our understanding of Steinem. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Glorias': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distraction.' 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 distraction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for distraction

see distract entry 1

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Time Traveler for distraction

Time Traveler

The first known use of distraction was in the 15th century

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Statistics for distraction

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Distraction.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distraction. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for distraction


How to pronounce distraction (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of distraction

: something that makes it difficult to think or pay attention
: something that amuses or entertains you so that you do not think about problems, work, etc.
: a state in which you are very annoyed or upset


dis·​trac·​tion | \ di-ˈstrak-shən How to pronounce distraction (audio) \

Kids Definition of distraction

1 : something that makes it hard to pay attention One robber created a distraction and the other grabbed the money.
2 : the act of having thoughts or attention drawn away : the state of drawing thoughts or attention away … he needed to clear his head, to flush away all distraction— Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee
3 : confusion of thoughts or feelings Their endless chatter drove me to distraction.
4 : something that amuses or entertains The game was a good distraction during the long car ride.


dis·​trac·​tion | \ dis-ˈtrak-shən How to pronounce distraction (audio) \

Medical Definition of distraction

1a : diversion of the attention
b : mental confusion
2 : excessive separation (as from improper traction) of fracture fragments

Other Words from distraction

distract \ dis-​ˈtrakt How to pronounce distract (audio) \ transitive verb

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Comments on distraction

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