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dis·tract / disˈtrakt/ • v. [tr.] prevent (someone) from giving full attention to something: don't allow noise to distract you from your work | [as adj.] (distracting) she found his nearness distracting. ∎  divert (attention) from something: it was another attempt to distract attention from the truth. ∎  (distract oneself) divert one's attention from something worrying or unpleasant by doing something different or more pleasurable: I tried to distract myself by concentrating on Jane. ∎ archaic perplex and bewilder: horror and doubt distract His troubl'd thoughts.