dis·​trib·​u·​tive | \ di-ˈstri-byü-tiv How to pronounce distributive (audio) , -byə- How to pronounce distributive (audio) \

Definition of distributive

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
3a : 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

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Other Words from distributive

distributively adverb
distributivity \ di-​ˌstri-​byü-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce distributivity (audio) \ noun

Examples of distributive in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While Trump’s instincts seem to lean towards the distributive style, the agreements with South Korea, Mexico, and Canada that Lighthizer has produced to date have in fact been fairly small-scale, integrative accords. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Trade Talks Are Foundering on Mistrust and Arrogance," 7 May 2019 Most negotiations can be characterized as either distributive, or integrative. David Fickling | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Trade Talks Are Foundering on Mistrust and Arrogance," 7 May 2019 Or does the distributive property suddenly no longer apply? Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "This Simple Math Problem Drove Our Entire Staff Insane. Can You Solve It?," 31 July 2019 This is why welfare-state answers to the basic questions about material distributive justice have not calmed our politics. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Is the individual obsolete?," 17 July 2019 He was highly regarded as one of the most talented midfielders of his generation, with his impressive distributive skills underpinning his playing style. SI.com, "The 50 Greatest CONCACAF Players of All Time," 9 July 2019 The sale money will help make up for fewer local government distributive fund dollars coming in from the state, Krieger said. Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, "City council approves selling 8.2 acres of surplus land in west Naperville for $2.2 million," 6 June 2018 That included the number of staff positions, mail sent to their constituents, trips home, earmarks and other distributive spending, bill sponsorship and co-sponsorship, among others. Danny Hayes, Washington Post, "Do women in Congress work harder than their male colleagues?," 8 Mar. 2018 The state collects the income tax, and doles it out to local government from the distributive fund. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "State decision may cost Aurora $2 million," 11 Aug. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for distributive

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for distributive

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

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More Definitions for distributive


dis·​trib·​u·​tive | \ di-ˈstri-byü-tiv How to pronounce distributive (audio) , -byə-\

Kids Definition of distributive

1 : of or relating to the act of giving or spreading out
2 : producing the same answer when operating on the sum of several numbers as when operating on each and collecting the results Multiplication is distributive.

More from Merriam-Webster on distributive

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with distributive

Spanish Central: Translation of distributive

Nglish: Translation of distributive for Spanish Speakers

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a calculated move

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