Meaning of “distract” in the English Dictionary

"distract" in British English

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distractverb [ T ]

uk /dɪˈstrækt/ us /dɪˈstrækt/

B2 to make someone stop giving their attention to something:

Don't distract her (from her studies).
He tried to distract attention from his own illegal activities.

More examples

  • The teacher had to separate the two friends because they tend to distract each other in class.
  • Shoplifters often work in pairs, with one creating a diversion to distract the shop assistants while the other steals the goods.
  • Can you stop tapping your foot please - it's distracting me while I'm working.
  • Sorry, what were you saying? Something outside the window distracted me.
  • If the TV is distracting you from your homework, turn it off.
adjective uk /dɪˈstræk.tɪŋ/ us /dɪˈstræk.tɪŋ/

Please turn your music down - it's very distracting.

(Definition of “distract” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"distract" in American English

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distractverb [ T ]

us /dɪˈstrækt/

to take someone’s attention away from what that person is doing or should be doing:

She liked to work with the radio playing and said it did not distract her.
noun [ C/U ] us /dɪˈstræk·ʃən/

[ U ] It’s impossible to work with all this distraction.

(Definition of “distract” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)