• IPA: /dɪsˈtɹækʃən/


  1. Something that distracts.
    Poking one's eye is a good distraction from a hurting toe.
  2. The process of being distracted.
    We have to reduce distraction in class if we want students to achieve good results.
  3. Perturbation; disorder; disturbance; confusion.
    • 1662, Thomas Salusbury, Galileo's dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogue 2):
      It's true that the Copernican Systeme introduceth distraction in the universe of Aristotle.
  4. Mental disorder; a deranged state of mind; insanity.
    The incessant nightmares drove him to distraction.
    • […] if he speak the words of an oath in a strange language, thinking they signify something else, or if he spake in his sleep, or deliration, or distraction, it is no oath, and so not obligatory.
  5. (medicine, archaic) Traction so exerted as to separate surfaces normally opposed.
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