distributive

adjective

dis·​trib·​u·​tive di-ˈstri-byü-tiv How to pronounce distributive (audio) -byə- How to pronounce distributive (audio)
1
: of or relating to distribution: such as
a
: dealing a proper share to each of a group
b
: diffusing more or less evenly
2
of a word : referring singly and without exception to the members of a group
each, either, and none are distributive
3
a
: being an operation (such as multiplication in a(b + c) = ab + ac) that produces the same result when operating on the whole mathematical expression as when operating on each part and collecting the results
b
: being or relating to a rule or property concerning a distributive operation
the distributive property of multiplication with respect to addition
distributively adverb
distributivity noun

Examples of distributive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The government failed at distributive justice, not at cultural recognition. Jan-Werner Müller, Foreign Affairs, 12 Feb. 2019 Affordability is at once a significant challenge for employers and a major component of distributive justice. Ari Hoffman, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 Demands from the developing world for a New International Economic Order that would give a better deal to primary producers and low-income countries were expressed in the oil shock of 1973, which led to hopes of distributive justice. Martin Daunton, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023 The narrower approach is more effective but can be criticized for avoiding fundamental issues of equity and distributive justice, so undermining the legitimacy of any agreement and provoking opposition. Martin Daunton, Fortune, 17 Nov. 2023 In math, it's called the distributive property. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, 5 Apr. 2021 People on the inside of the tech industry are not really interested in equality, distributive justice, and fairness—they’re just celebrating technology for the sake of technology. Jennifer Conrad, WIRED, 21 Dec. 2022 The next big distributive battle over the high cost of living came in the 1970s. Meg Jacobs, CNN, 30 Oct. 2022 The entire operation allowed students to have a strong visual and hands-on experience for learning the distributive property. John Benson, cleveland, 24 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'distributive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of distributive was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near distributive

Cite this Entry

“Distributive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/distributive. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

distributive

adjective
dis·​trib·​u·​tive dis-ˈtrib-yət-iv How to pronounce distributive (audio)
1
: of or relating to distribution : serving to distribute
2
: of, having, or being the property of giving the same mathematical result when an operation is carried out on a whole expression and when it is carried out on each part of an expression with the results then collected together
the distributive property of multiplication means a(b + c) = ab + ac
distributively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on distributive

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