distraction

noun
dis·​trac·​tion | \ di-ˈstrak-shən \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from distraction

distractive \ -​ˈstrak-​tiv \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

There were failures and distractions along the way. Scott Bauer, The Seattle Times, "Walker leaves a fundamentally changed Wisconsin," 7 Jan. 2019 Both of the aforementioned, and a whole lot of boisterous beauty trends that, at the very least, gave us a distraction from the state of the world. Cazzie David, Vogue, "2018’s Most Ridiculous Moments in Beauty—And Beyond!—According to Cazzie David," 22 Dec. 2018 No distractions allows for vetted, insured workers to transform the space in a three-week timeframe. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "This Renovation Start-Up Wants To Deliver Your New Bathroom To You," 17 Dec. 2018 With a desire to keep that momentum going, devices like the NES Classic and its SNES counterpart present a distraction. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Christmas May Be Your Last Chance to Get a NES or SNES Classic," 14 Dec. 2018 Keep distractions to a minimum Texting while driving? Seventeen Editors, Seventeen, "7 Driving Tips For Teens That'll Seriously Help You Become a Pro On The Road," 14 Dec. 2018 In an unusually hot summer, the football, an England team that people could get behind, has been a hugely welcome distraction. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "England's World Cup Run, Southgate Represent More for a Nation in Political Upheaval," 12 July 2018 Bored kids also count as distractions, so entertain them for hours with movies, coloring books, and car games, like these printable roadside bingo cards. Brigitt Earley, Woman's Day, "6 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Next Family Road Trip," 29 Nov. 2018 Venus Williams has tuned out all manner of distractions on her way to becoming one of the most successful women to set foot on a tennis court. Sean Gregory, Time, "Venus Williams Is Still in the Game—On and Off the Court," 21 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of distraction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for distraction

see distract entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about distraction

Share distraction

Dictionary Entries near distraction

distract

distracted

distracter

distraction

distrain

distrainee

distraint

Statistics for distraction

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distraction

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for distraction

distraction

noun

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

distraction

noun
dis·​trac·​tion | \ di-ˈstrak-shən \

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.

distraction

noun
dis·​trac·​tion | \ dis-ˈtrak-shən \

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 \ transitive verb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on distraction

What made you want to look up distraction? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

important, real, or meaningful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!