What is the meaning of

take your mind off

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To take your mind off is an idiom that means to stop thinking about or worrying about something.


: stop thinking about
// This will help you take/get/keep your mind off your problems.

Interestingly, Oxford Dictionaries uses a variation of it—take a load off (someone's) mind:

Bring someone relief from anxiety.

‘providing the income you will need after you stop work can take a load off your mind’

It's possible this is a regional difference in idiom usage between Britain and North America.

The UK version reminds me more of take a load off (one's feet):


chiefly US, informal

: to sit down and relax
// You look tired. Come in and take a load off.

  • I wouldn't see "take a load off your mind" as a variant of "take your mind off". The latter is to stop thinking about something, and the first is to stop worrying. The distinction may seem subtle, but it's fairly profound. Also, "take a weight off (someone's) mind" is more common here in Britain, in my experience, than "take a load off", and we do use the American "take a load off (one's feet)" as well. – SamBC Feb 2 at 19:35
  • @SamBC I literally went to Oxford Dictionaries and typed the phrase "take your mind off." I was redirected to "take a load off your mind." So, Oxford, at any rate, seems to see it synonymously in some sense. Either that or it's a coincidental search result—and the lexicographers don't think that "take your mind off" is used often enough in UK English to have its own entry. – Jason Bassford Feb 2 at 19:43
  • It would hardly be the first time that a dictionary, even a descriptivist one, has contained something that doesn't match usage on the ground. – SamBC Feb 2 at 20:30
  • (Interestingly, Cambridge have "take your mind off sth" in their online Learner's Dictionary, but not in their online English dictionary - searching there also gives "take a load off your mind" as the nearest match) – SamBC Feb 2 at 20:34

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