Thesaurus

distribute

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of distribute

1 to arrange or assign according to type
  • distribute the assignments according to seniority

Synonyms for distribute

Words Related to distribute

Near Antonyms for distribute

2 to give as a share or portion
  • committed to distributing the school's limited scholarship money so that it benefits more students

Synonyms for distribute

Words Related to distribute

Near Antonyms for distribute

3 to give out (something) to appropriate individuals
  • distributed pamphlets on recycling to everyone in the neighborhood

Synonyms for distribute

Words Related to distribute

Near Antonyms for distribute

Antonyms for distribute

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About distribute

How does the verb distribute differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of distribute are deal, dispense, divide, and dole out. While all these words 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

When can deal be used instead of distribute?

While the synonyms deal and distribute are close in meaning, deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece.

deal out equipment and supplies

In what contexts can dispense take the place of distribute?

The synonyms dispense and distribute are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

When is divide a more appropriate choice than distribute?

In some situations, the words divide and distribute are roughly equivalent. However, divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal.

three charitable groups divided the proceeds

When could dole out be used to replace distribute?

While in some cases nearly identical to distribute, dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply.

doled out what little food there was

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about distribute

Time Traveler for distribute

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Distribute.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/distribute. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on distribute

Dictionary: Definition of distribute

Spanish Central: Translation of distribute

Nglish: Translation of distribute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of distribute for Arabic Speakers

Comments on distribute

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!