E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
An excellent example of how greatly the meaning of words may change. To distract means now, to harass, to perplex; and distraction confusion of mind from a great multiplicity of duties; but in French to
distract means to divert the mind, and distraction means recreation or amusement (Latin, dis - traho). (See SLAVE.)