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

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 Oliver hopes to distribute 5,000 of these limited edition cards to Davidson County residents. Maria Jimenez Moya, USA TODAY, 5 May 2022 The association sells tables to news organizations, which then distribute invitations to employees, their spouses, advertisers and others. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 Mari partnered with water filter company Hydroviv to donate and distribute her very own high-capacity lead-removal filters to families and child-centric organizations in Flint. Paul Grein, Billboard, 4 May 2022 Forward-thinking companies were already talking about the Future of Work, focusing on the opportunity to more efficiently communicate, market, and distribute to their customers leveraging digital tools. Jan Bruce, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 On Saturday, Nez and other organizations such as Flagstaff’s Family Food Center helped distribute the necessities like hay, animal feed and food to Navajos and non-Navajos affected by the fire. Arlyssa Becenti, The Arizona Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 The company also alleges the NLRB let union representatives distribute marijuana to workers in exchange for votes and intimidate workers opposed to collective bargaining. Sean Higgins, WSJ, 25 Apr. 2022 Hutchinson also said the funds would come with restrictions that would not allow states to distribute assistance to both landlords and tenants. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, 23 Apr. 2022 The South African army has deployed 10,000 troops to help find those missing, rebuild roads, bridges and utilities, and distribute emergency aid to families made destitute by the deluge. Mogomotsi Magome, ajc, 23 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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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Dictionary Entries Near distribute

distributary

distribute

distributed

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Statistics for distribute

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Distribute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distribute. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for distribute

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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