distribute

verb
dis·​trib·​ute | \ di-ˈstri-byüt How to pronounce distribute (audio) also -byət How to pronounce distribute (audio) , British also ˈdi-stri-ˌbyüt\
distributed; distributing

Definition of distribute

transitive verb

1 : to divide among several or many : apportion distribute expenses distributes toys to needy children
2a : to spread out so as to cover something : scatter evenly distribute the seeds
b : to give out or deliver especially to members of a group distribute newspapers distribute leaflets distribute a TV show to local stations
c : to place or position so as to be properly apportioned over or throughout an area 200 pounds distributed on a 6-foot frame distribute the frosting around the top and sides of the cake
d logic : to use (a term) so as to convey information about every member of the class named The proposition "all men are mortal" distributes "man" but not "mortal."
3a : to divide or separate especially into kinds distributing specimens into their proper classes
b : to return the units of (something, such as typeset matter) to storage
4 mathematics : to use in or as an operation so as to be mathematically distributive (see distributive sense 3a) Addition is not distributed over multiplication.

intransitive verb

mathematics : to be mathematically distributive multiplication distributes over addition

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Other Words from distribute

distributee \ dis-​ˌtri-​byü-​ˈtē How to pronounce distributee (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for distribute

distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts. distributed food to the needy dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need. dispensed wisdom to the students divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal. three charitable groups divided the proceeds deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece. deal out equipment and supplies dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply. doled out what little food there was

Examples of distribute in a Sentence

distribute the assignments according to seniority committed to distributing the school's limited scholarship money so that it benefits more students

Recent Examples on the Web

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Ohio. Mike Rose, cleveland.com, "The Plain Dealer’s front page for July 2, 2019," 2 July 2019 The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of AL.com. al, "Cam Newton can catch the football, too," 2 July 2019 Upon his death, the bulk of his wealth will go to and be distributed by the Marcus Foundation, which supports sustainability measures tied to community food resources. BostonGlobe.com, "Vermont tax in e-cigarettes tax effect," 2 July 2019 Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck said in a statement distributed by the Panthers. Tim Reynolds, sun-sentinel.com, "Panthers’ Luongo retires: ‘My body was telling me it just needed a rest’," 26 June 2019 The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of NOLA Media Group. Nola.com Digital Operations, nola.com, "To our readers: An important update to this app will arrive July 1," 17 June 2019 Federation president Francesco Rocca said at a news conference in the capital of Caracas that the humanitarian network can start distributing assistance to an estimated 650,000 people in the South American country in around 15 days. Christopher Torchia, The Seattle Times, "Red Cross ready to aid Venezuela, warns against politics," 29 Mar. 2019 Earlier this week, Microsoft started distributing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809, to Windows users who manually checked for updates. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Data-deletion bug forces Microsoft to suspend rollout of Windows 10 update," 6 Oct. 2018 Still, in July 2017 the company started distributing schedules two weeks in advance and offering workers more hours. Rachel Feintzeig, WSJ, "New Laws Aim to Make Work Hours More Predictable," 27 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distribute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of distribute

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for distribute

Middle English, from Latin distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere to allot — more at tribute

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Statistics for distribute

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distribute

The first known use of distribute was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for distribute

distribute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of distribute

: to give or deliver (something) to people
: to deliver (something) to a store or business
: to divide (something) among the members of a group

distribute

verb
dis·​trib·​ute | \ di-ˈstri-ˌbyüt How to pronounce distribute (audio) , -byət\
distributed; distributing

Kids Definition of distribute

1 : to give out to or deliver to They distribute paychecks on Friday.
2 : to divide among many or several The money was distributed among the poor.
3 : to spread out so as to cover something Make sure the paint is distributed evenly.

distribute

transitive verb
dis·​trib·​ute | \ di-ˈstri-byüt How to pronounce distribute (audio) \
distributed; distributing

Legal Definition of distribute

1 : to divide among several or many : apportion
2 : to give out or deliver especially to members of a group — see also dividend

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Comments on distribute

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