Definition of distribute
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 seedsb : to give out or deliver especially to members of a group distribute newspapers distribute leaflets distribute a TV show to local stationsc : 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 caked 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 classesb : 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 3a) Addition is not distributed over multiplication.
mathematics : to be mathematically distributive multiplication distributes over addition
distributeeplay \dis-ˌtri-byü-ˈtē\ noun
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
Origin and Etymology of distribute
Middle English, from Latin distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere to allot — more at tribute
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of distribute
DISTRIBUTE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of distribute for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of distribute for Students
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.
Seen and Heard
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