verb (used with object), dis·trib·ut·ed, dis·trib·ut·ing.

  1. to divide and give out in shares; deal out; allot.
  2. to disperse through a space or over an area; spread; scatter.
  3. to promote, sell, and ship or deliver (an item or line of merchandise) to individual customers, especially in a specified region or area.
  4. to pass out or deliver (mail, newspapers, etc.) to intended recipients.
  5. to divide into distinct phases: The process was distributed into three stages.
  6. to divide into classes: These plants are distributed into 22 classes.
  7. Logic. to employ (a term) in a proposition so as to refer to all individuals denoted by the term.
  8. Physical Chemistry. to dissolve uniformly in a solvent consisting of layers of immiscible or partially miscible substances.
  9. Printing.
    1. to roll out (ink) on the table to attain the proper consistency.
    2. to return (type) to the proper place after printing.

verb (tr)

  1. to give out in shares; dispense
  2. to hand out or deliverto distribute handbills
  3. (often passive) to spread throughout a space or areagulls are distributed along the west coast
  4. (often passive) to divide into classes or categories; classifythese books are distributed in four main categories
  5. printing to return (used type) to the correct positions in the type case
  6. logic to incorporate in a distributed term of a categorial proposition
  7. 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
  8. 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.

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