Definition of distraction in English:


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  • 1A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

    ‘the company found passenger travel a distraction from the main business of moving freight’
    • ‘He also knew that, if Ally didn't have a distraction, she would inadvertently be a distraction to him.’
    • ‘This allows concentration on counseling without as strong a distraction from the paraphiliac urges.’
    • ‘This concentration on the stand-alone card price as a distraction from scheme cost is dealt with in more detail here.’
    • ‘It is going to cost them not only in their bond rating but in the distraction from the major concerns which Californians have.’
    • ‘Or is it that it is a distraction from the serious everyday issues?’
    • ‘The whole Christmas season is a distraction from the weather.’
    • ‘Junior faculty members, in particular, want to ensure that their blogs are not a distraction from their primary research.’
    • ‘It's also a distraction from implementation of more-effective security measures.’
    • ‘However, this is just a distraction from the main issue.’
    • ‘The technical character of the discussion over degree classification is a distraction from the real problems in the education sector.’
    • ‘And I have some freelance work to do, which is a tiresome distraction from knitting, but very welcome income boost.’
    • ‘I realised I was more of a distraction to myself than others.’
    • ‘I agree that it might be just a distraction to have computers lying about in the classroom while studying some other subject.’
    • ‘It is also true that the government's foreign adventures provide a convenient distraction from its domestic problems.’
    • ‘Instead, questions about local matters provided an unnecessary distraction from the power of Keys' message.’
    • ‘Often, this much-maligned contest is dismissed as a needless distraction from the bread and butter of the League.’
    • ‘The suggestion is that such property development is a distraction from their core business and, therefore, a bad thing.’
    • ‘We asked the lead flight director if this was a distraction to his team or for that matter to the crew in general.’
    • ‘All forms of bloodsports are an unnecessary distraction from genuine wildlife conservation.’
    • ‘When I won young journalist of the year in 1988 it seemed an irritating distraction to go to London for the ceremony.’
    diversion, interruption, disturbance, intrusion, interference, obstruction, hindrance
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    1. 1.1A diversion or recreation.
      ‘there are plenty of distractions such as sailing’
      • ‘The little distractions and diversions that once seemed to add to the richness of the texture now feel like unfocused rambling.’
      • ‘She sensed that a scream would be inappropriate, however, and she looked to the table as she searched for a distraction.’
      • ‘There is no super model, superstar girlfriend by Rivaldo's side; no distractions but football.’
      • ‘It's a welcome distraction on long winter evenings to keep you from going nuts with cabin fever.’
      • ‘The football offered a welcome distraction, but it wasn't to last.’
      • ‘Those sailors not hosting visitors had a number of other distractions, including sports fixtures and a community project.’
      • ‘He thought that in hard times, people needed the distraction of games.’
      • ‘The music is quite repetitive and without the distraction of the aerial dynamics it would be quite flat.’
      • ‘Video games may have started out as a distraction for kids, costing just a quarter at the neighborhood arcade.’
      • ‘My other sister and brother-in-law have worked hard to provide my kids with distraction and diversion.’
      • ‘He well and truly was at a loss, eyes desperately searching the cafeteria in search of Kaoru or a distraction.’
      • ‘New Zealand has many worthy distractions, but it was the skiing we came for and it was mostly skiing we did.’
      • ‘It is up to you to be more interesting to your pup than all the other distractions out in the yard.’
      • ‘We could entertain our minds with all kinds of thoughts and distractions.’
      • ‘Thus, the approaching ruckus was a welcome distraction from his musings and his insomnia.’
      • ‘If you haven't filed yet, thanks for choosing The Mudville Gazette as your distraction from the task at hand.’
      • ‘But the cup will give the club a much-needed distraction from these worries - and hopefully the shot in the arm they need.’
      • ‘We see it as a distraction from our jobs through the week.’
      • ‘I urge readers looking for an amusing distraction to visit The 419 Eater's trophy room.’
      • ‘I warned of a blogging hiatus at the beginning of the day, but I'm actually finding it to be a useful distraction from thinking.’
      amusement, entertainment, diversion, activity, pastime, recreation, interest, hobby, game, leisure pursuit, occupation, divertissement
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  • 2Extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

    ‘he knew she was nervous by her uncharacteristic air of distraction’
    • ‘The prevailing air of distraction was unfortunate, for Fox may have something important to say.’
    • ‘Loathing and distraction stop the insanity and music clears the soul.’
    • ‘You know, most people are living especially on the coasts, between distraction and frenzy.’
    • ‘Our mind needs to be stable, free from distraction and discursiveness.’
    • ‘I was conscious of the fact that I was giving myself a fighting chance by not doing anything to cause him any distraction.’
    • ‘Back home, Paula watches her husband's distraction with caution.’
    • ‘Pete has been driven to such distraction lately he is now muttering about consoling himself by munching on a fine Alsatian steak.’
    frenzy, hysteria, mental distress, madness, insanity, wildness, mania, derangement, delirium
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/dəˈstrakSH(ə)n/ /dəˈstrækʃ(ə)n/


    to distraction
    • (in hyperbolic use) intensely.

      ‘she loved him to distraction’
      • ‘She has a lovely home, nice things around her and a child who loves her to distraction.’
      • ‘Second, the Star & Sickle, otherwise known as the Star Tribune, already loves Alice to distraction.’
      • ‘I love the two children I have got to distraction and they, or any other babies born in to the world for that matter, are welcome to me.’


Late Middle English from Latin distractio(n-), from the verb distrahere (see distract).