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 The group holds marches and gathered donations and groceries to distribute to families in need during the wildfires. oregonlive, 30 May 2021 Florida will no longer distribute $300 in federal unemployment benefits to the state’s jobless residents starting June 26, the state revealed Monday. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, 24 May 2021 The energy-drink maker accused Coca-Cola of violating a noncompete agreement the companies struck in 2015, when Coke bought a 16.7% stake in Monster and agreed to distribute its energy drinks in the U.S. and Canada. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, 14 May 2021 Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, to develop and distribute diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines in a pandemic. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, 12 May 2021 The Yard Goats teamed up with Hartford HealthCare to distribute COVID-19 vaccines before the game in an effort to slow and stop the spread of the virus. Sara Tidwell, courant.com, 11 May 2021 The popular program, which provided ultra-low interest loans to cover employer payroll and other expenses, was able to distribute billions of dollars in assistance early on in the crisis. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, 6 May 2021 Governor Dan McKee said Tuesday that his administration plans to distribute $25 gift cards to between 50,000 and 100,000 Rhode Islanders in the coming weeks, part of an attempt to urge residents to shop local heading into the summer. BostonGlobe.com, 4 May 2021 Waltman provided $4,730 in cash to the cooperating co-conspirator to purchase additional methamphetamine for Waltman to distribute in Mobile. Lawrence Specker | Lspecker@al.com, al, 1 May 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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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

3 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Distribute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distribute. Accessed 14 Jun. 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

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