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 distribute (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 In the superseding indictment, Wiley was charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, 15 July 2021 Costa is also faces charges of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking. BostonGlobe.com, 11 July 2021 Sutton faced his first major setback when he was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Dj Simmons, ajc, 11 July 2021 The inmates are both serving time for conspiracy with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to the spokesperson. Malak Silmi, San Antonio Express-News, 6 July 2021 Terrence Dramon Tolbert, 40, of Brewton, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in January. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 2 July 2021 The presiding judge sentenced Kelly in February to four years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, while noting his displeasure with Kelly’s Capitol charges. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 26 June 2021 Possession of up to one ounce with no intent to distribute will become legal for those 21 and older. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 21 June 2021 Possession of up to one ounce (28.3 grams) with no intent to distribute will become legal for adults, 21 and older. Denise Lavoie, Star Tribune, 18 June 2021

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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Learn More About distribute

Time Traveler for distribute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for distribute

Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distribute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distribute. Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on distribute

Nglish: Translation of distribute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distribute for Arabic Speakers

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