distribution

noun
dis·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌdis-trə-ˈbyü-shən \

Definition of distribution

1a : the act or process of distributing the distribution of leaflets profit distribution the distribution of weight
b law : the act or process of apportioning by a court the personal property of an intestate
2a : the position, arrangement, or frequency of occurrence (as of the members of a group) over an area or throughout a space or unit of time the distribution of the country's population
b biology : the natural geographic range of an organism
3a : something distributed charitable distributions : such as
(1) : a sum of money withdrawn from a fund (such as a retirement fund) and given to the beneficiary (see beneficiary sense 2b) or holder of the fund

b mathematics

4 anatomy : the pattern of branching and termination (see termination sense 4) of a ramifying structure (such as a nerve)
5 business : the marketing or merchandising of commodities keeping track of distribution costs

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Other Words from distribution

distributional \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of distribution in a Sentence

The group collects food and clothing for distribution to needy families. The distribution of paychecks will happen every other Friday. The university does not permit distribution of leaflets on campus. She was responsible for product distribution. The company handles the distribution of goods to stores nationwide. He complained that the distribution of work was unfair. He studies the distributions of wildcats in North America. The new design provides better weight distribution.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Aid distribution and medical care is often spotty—stalled by violence, bureaucracy and dwindling donor money. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "Battle to Oust Islamic State Takes Toll on Syrian Civilians," 13 Feb. 2019 The distribution of charge is much more symmetrical around the equator. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Physicists report electron is round—what does that mean?," 7 Nov. 2018 The distribution of Seattle homes by the number of rooms is quite evenly spread out, but four rooms is the most common — there are more than 60,000 homes with four rooms. Gene Balk / Fyi Guy, The Seattle Times, "One in 10 Seattle homes have just one room for first time ever," 9 Oct. 2018 Essentially, all individuals were buried with personal ornaments and the distribution of ornaments was approximately equal throughout the cemetery. James Rogers, Fox News, "Remarkable graveyard discovery: 5,000-year-old 'monumental' cemetery stuns archaeologists," 21 Aug. 2018 But online, distribution is essentially free and the hard part is to aggregate content, find the best and serve it up to consumers. The Economist, "More knock-on than networkThe story of the internet is all about layers," 28 June 2018 The groups should be similar on height, weight, age and other factors, and statistical tests can suggest whether the distribution of these traits is implausible, compromising any results. Washington Post, "Science Says: What happens when researchers make mistakes," 13 June 2018 In a disaster scenario, the transportation department is particularly crucial for both the continual distribution of food supplies and the modes of transport that get drivers to their trucks and workers to the markets. Sean Patrick Cooper, The New Republic, "Is America Ready for the Next Superstorm?," 4 June 2018 Product produced: Facilities in upstate New York as well as New Orleans; all distribution is through New Orleans. Molly Kimball, NOLA.com, "2018 Eat Local Challenge: No need to go hardcore to dig in," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'distribution.' 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 distribution

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for distribution

The first known use of distribution was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for distribution

distribution

noun

English Language Learners Definition of distribution

: the act of giving or delivering something to people
: the act of delivering something to a store or business
: the way that something is divided or spread out

distribution

noun
dis·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌdi-strə-ˈbyü-shən \

Kids Definition of distribution

1 : the act of giving out or delivering to
2 : the way things are divided or spread out She studies the distribution of wildcats in the area.
3 : something given out or delivered to or divided among

distribution

noun
dis·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌdis-trə-ˈbyü-shən \

Medical Definition of distribution

: the pattern of branching and termination of a ramifying anatomical structure (as a nerve or artery)

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distribution

noun
dis·​tri·​bu·​tion | \ ˌdis-trə-ˈbyü-shən \

Legal Definition of distribution

1 : the act or process of distributing: as
a : the apportionment by a court of the property and especially personal property of an intestate among those entitled to it according to statute — compare descent, devise

Note: The laws dealing with intestate succession are often called laws of descent and distribution.

b : the payment or transfer to a beneficiary of interest to which he or she is entitled under a trust
c : the transfer by a corporation or mutual fund of money or property to a shareholder in his or her capacity as a shareholder
d : the initial offering to the public of a security by a corporation
e : the delivery of a controlled substance
2 : something distributed

Other Words from distribution

distributive \ di-​ˈstri-​byu̇-​tiv \ adjective

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Comments on distribution

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