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

Viacom, which owns cable networks such as MTV and Nickelodeon, has deals with various pay-TV providers that distribute its programming, the people said. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "TV Networks Creating Targeted-Ad Capabilities," 13 May 2019 The afterparty began in earnest after the first dance, aided by espresso martinis and Venetian masks, which were distributed among the guests. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Epic Lake Como Wedding Had It All: An Alta Moda Photoshoot, Fireworks, and a Surprise Opera," 11 Apr. 2019 In addition, AT&T Communications will have no say in setting Turner’s prices or other terms in contracts with companies that distribute its content. Marcy Gordon, BostonGlobe.com, "Department of Justice appeals ruling that allowed AT&T-Time Warner merger," 12 July 2018 Curtsinger, who worked on the Buffalo Trace loading docks, distributed the whiskey through a syndicate that included members of his recreational softball team, authorities said. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "'Pappygate' ringleader gets shock probation after 30 days in prison," 29 June 2018 In addition to offering compensation to individuals like Mr. Kaseke who have lost livestock, the UWA is developing a revenue-sharing fund that distributes 20 percent of visitors’ fees back to the community. Christopher Bendana, The Christian Science Monitor, "Uganda's pride: Lions test locals' patience," 27 June 2018 As a part of the deal, Will Smith‬ and James Lassiter's Overbrook Entertainment will have the option to develop and distribute film and television projects through Telepool. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Will Smith and Director Marc Forster Buy German Rights Group Telepool," 26 June 2018 Mai patted the product into Chloë 's face and neck for a minute in order for its miracle ingredient, PITERA, to be evenly distributed throughout the skin. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "How To Get Chloë Grace Moretz's Bold Pink 2019 Met Gala Lip," 7 May 2019 In her spare time, Meiler, who serves on the board of directors for the Vermont Senior Games, visits local exercise facilities to distribute fliers and spread the word about senior athletics. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Meet Flo Filion Meiler, the 84-Year-Old Track and Field Athlete With Over 775 Medals," 26 Apr. 2019

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

24 May 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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