verb (used with object), dis·trib·ut·ed, dis·trib·ut·ing.
- to divide and give out in shares; deal out; allot.
- to disperse through a space or over an area; spread; scatter.
- to promote, sell, and ship or deliver (an item or line of merchandise) to individual customers, especially in a specified region or area.
- to pass out or deliver (mail, newspapers, etc.) to intended recipients.
- to divide into distinct phases: The process was distributed into three stages.
- to divide into classes: These plants are distributed into 22 classes.
- Logic. to employ (a term) in a proposition so as to refer to all individuals denoted by the term.
- Physical Chemistry. to dissolve uniformly in a solvent consisting of layers of immiscible or partially miscible substances.
- to roll out (ink) on the table to attain the proper consistency.
- to return (type) to the proper place after printing.
- to give out in shares; dispense
- to hand out or deliverto distribute handbills
- (often passive) to spread throughout a space or areagulls are distributed along the west coast
- (often passive) to divide into classes or categories; classifythese books are distributed in four main categories
- printing to return (used type) to the correct positions in the type case
- logic to incorporate in a distributed term of a categorial proposition
- maths logic to expand an expression containing two operators in such a way that the precedence of the operators is changed; for example, distributing multiplication over addition in a (b + c) yields ab + ac
- obsolete to dispense (justice)
early 15c., “to deal out or apportion,” from Latin distributus, past participle of distribuere “to divide, distribute” (see distribution). Related: Distributable; distributed; distributing.