• Kisa drives a small pony and trap past the distracted giants
    Kisa drives a small pony and trap past the distracted giants
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v distract disturb in mind or make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed "She was rather perturbed by the news that her father was seriously ill"
    • v distract draw someone's attention away from something "The thief distracted the bystanders","He deflected his competitors"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Dutchess is distracted as the mouse pie is taken from the oven Dutchess is distracted as the mouse pie is taken from the oven

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Calvin and Hobbes: Hobbes originally had pads on his hands and feet but Bill Waterson (the creator) found them too distracting and removed them.
    • Distract Insane; mad.
    • Distract Separated; drawn asunder.
    • Distract To agitate by conflicting passions, or by a variety of motives or of cares; to confound; to harass. "Horror and doubt distract His troubled thoughts."
    • Distract To draw (the sight, mind, or attention) in different directions; to perplex; to confuse; as, to distract the eye; to distract the attention. "Mixed metaphors . . . distract the imagination."
    • Distract To draw apart or away; to divide; to disjoin. "A city . . . distracted from itself."
    • Distract To unsettle the reason of; to render insane; to craze; to madden; -- most frequently used in the participle, distracted. "A poor mad soul; . . . poverty hath distracted her."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Golf was banned in England in 1457 because it was considered a distraction from the serious pursuit of archery.
    • distract To draw apart; pull in different directions and separate; divide.
    • distract To turn or draw away from any object; divert from any point toward another point, or toward various other objects: as, to distract a person's attention from his occupation.
    • distract To cause distraction in; draw in different directions or toward different objects; confuse by diverse or opposing considerations; perplex; bewilder: as, to distract the mind with cares.
    • distract To disorder the reason of; derange; render frantic or mad.
    • distract Distracted; frantic; deranged: same as distraught.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Distract dis-trakt′ to draw in different directions—applied to the mind or attention: to confuse: to harass: to render crazy: to divert
    • ***


  • Socrates
    “A multitude of books distracts the mind.”
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    “At painful times, when composition is impossible and reading is not enough, grammars and dictionaries are excellent for distraction.”
  • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
    “A distracted existence leads us to no goal.”
  • Doug Horton
    “Materialism is the only form of distraction from true bliss.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.”
  • Barbara Ehrenreich
    “America is addicted to wars of distraction.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. distractus, p. p. of distrahere, to draw asunder; dis-, + trahere, to draw. See Trace, and cf. Distraught


In literature:

Many times this distracting thought drove me almost to madness.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
But Paris would be more distracting for you to live in, and in a week or two far too hot to be pleasant.
"Barbara in Brittany" by E. A. Gillie
So rancorous she cannot sleep, but turns distractedly on her couch, from time to time changing cheek upon the pillow.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
William W. Kolderup thoroughly knew his man, and on all occasions treated him with scorn enough to drive him to distraction.
"Godfrey Morgan" by Jules Verne
Presently the coach was turned round, and the distracted father galloped back towards the pass.
"Freaks on the Fells" by R.M. Ballantyne
He stared at me with solemn distraction, obviously thinking of something else.
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
But they were not to be distracted from the dead kings.
"Lalage's Lovers" by George A. Birmingham
Peace alone is the object of our mission; to restore peace to a distracted country.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
The mad flight of his ships utterly distracted the mind of the faint-hearted king.
"Historic Tales, vol 10 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
Instead he decided to change the subject, hoping to distract her.
"The Alembic Plot" by Ann Wilson

In poetry:

Who kick a nurse's aged shin,
And sit in sulky mopes;
And boys who twirl poor kittens in
Distracting zoetropes.
"The Two Ogres" by William Schwenck Gilbert
"Let grief distract the sufferer's breast,
And night obscure his way;
They hasten him to endless rest,
And everlasting day.
"A Day Dream" by Emily Jane Bronte
As in toil and violent action,
That still help them to forget,
Mortals drown the dark distraction
And insistence of regret.
"One Day And Another: A Lyrical Eclogue – Part IV" by Madison Julius Cawein
Wild phrenzy fires his frantic hand;
Distracted at the sight,
He flies to where the lovers stand,
And stabs the stranger Knight.
"Sir Eldred Of The Bower : A Legendary Tale: In Two Parts" by Hannah More
And he who hides within his heart
A secret sin, all unconfess'd
To God or man, no glossing art
"Can quiet the distracting guest."
"Things Mysterious" by Thomas Frederick Young
Wise, wise, wise, art Thou;
Wise beyond our highest thought:
Nought, when at Thy throne we bow,
Shall distract our praises—nought!
"God is One" by John Bowring

In news:

Online Dictionary defines " misdirection " as "the act of distracting.
Last week we considered that monasticism is a lifestyle, which makes it easier to focus entirely on Christ, with less concern or distraction.
Fielder's Home-Run Stroke Distracts Detroit From Fiscal Morass .
In the days before the Internet and other electronic distractions, many people of all ages played bridge.
Romney's taxes nonissue, just distraction.
Nevada's perpetual loser didn't triumph on Election Day, but " none of the above" played a familiar role - maybe not as outright spoiler, but a pesky sideline distraction nonetheless.
Both ships, by Schöpfer Yachts, offer plenty of distractions from any troubles felt back on shore.
Brady volleyball coach Lynne Johnson would like to blame Brady's sub-par play against Wallace Friday night on homecoming distractions.
As I called his name, it distracted him from what he was doing, resulting in his one ear up, one ear down.
A cartoon by Brian McFadden offers suggestions on how to distract yourself while reflecting on the tragedy of 9/11.
Could smartphones and social media be distracting them from sex.
Mandibular distraction osteogenesis with a small semiburied device in neonates: Report of 2 cases.
I think it would cut down on the number of injuries and accidents caused by distracted people.
This is NBA basketball without NBA control: 8,700 fans sweltering inside the Palestra , waiting patiently for a game delayed by late arrivals, with extra-loud music providing a thinly-veiled distraction.
One squirrel can create enough distraction to produce more than three head injuries.

In science:

However, we will spend some time appearing to be distracted from that goal by studying electrodynamics, general relativity and cosmology.
A Simple Introduction to Particle Physics Part II
Table 3 presents similar results regarding whether the recipients lost their concentration and/or got distracted.
Evaluating Accessible Synchronous CMC Applications
Table 3: Frequency table for the recipients’ yes/no answers with respect to getting distracted.
Evaluating Accessible Synchronous CMC Applications
Similar results were obtained with respect to the lack of concentration and distraction.
Evaluating Accessible Synchronous CMC Applications
Steven Carlip for his advice and instruction on conveying this work with minimum distractions from the core ideas.
Emergence of General Relativity from Loop Quantum Gravity: A Summary