dis·​trib·​u·​tor | \ di-ˈstri-byü-tər How to pronounce distributor (audio) , -byə-\

Definition of distributor

1 : one that distributes
2 : one that markets a commodity especially : wholesaler
3 : an apparatus for directing the secondary current from the induction coil to the various spark plugs of an engine in their proper firing order

Examples of distributor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

ExporTech helps put Kirlin in touch with overseas partners, researches and vets potential distributors and sales representative, and sponsors trade missions, Brownell said. Corey Williams, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit small businesses going global to push growth," 21 Apr. 2018 Seattle’s tax of 1.75 cents per fluid ounce, which took effect in January 2018, is charged to distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Nearly all of Seattle’s soda tax is being passed on to consumers, new report shows," 8 Jan. 2019 The cauliflower was shipped to wholesale distributors in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, the company says. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Cauliflower Recalled for Possible E. Coli Contamination," 18 Dec. 2018 The negative impact of that supply bottleneck, along with recent changes in the way Moutai sells to distributors, could linger next year. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "It’s Time for Moutai Investors to Hit the Bottle," 29 Oct. 2018 Butler told reporters after Willett's sentencing that his client didn't steal from innocent people as the money was believed to be headed from local dealers to large-scale drug distributors. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 June 2018 Because majority of the illnesses came from prepackaged vegetables that have been passed on from suppliers to distributors to processing facilities where they were chopped and bagged, finding out where they were grown is far more cumbersome. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Five dead, nearly 200 sick in E. coli outbreak from lettuce. And investigators are stumped.," 3 June 2018 They were also hurt by the collapse of the international pre-sales market, where the cost of a film could be laid off in part by selling territories to international distributors. John Clark, latimes.com, "The indie film world reacts to the fall of the house of Weinstein," 31 May 2018 The lot went to distributors in California, Maryland and Washington from Dec. 8, 2017, and April 10, then to retail locations in those states and others beyond that. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "Watch what you put on your bagel — this fish has a botulism risk | Miami Herald," 2 May 2018

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

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for distributor

Last Updated

15 May 2019

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The first known use of distributor was in 1526

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English Language Learners Definition of distributor

: a person or company that supplies stores or businesses with goods
technical : a device that sends electricity to the spark plugs of an engine


dis·​trib·​u·​tor | \ di-ˈstri-byü-tər How to pronounce distributor (audio) , -byə-\

Kids Definition of distributor

: a person or company that supplies stores or businesses with goods

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More from Merriam-Webster on distributor

Spanish Central: Translation of distributor

Nglish: Translation of distributor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distributor for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about distributor

Comments on distributor

What made you want to look up distributor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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