1. serving to distribute, assign, allot, or divide; characterized by or pertaining to distribution.
  2. Grammar. referring to the members of a group individually, as the adjectives each and every.
  3. Logic. (of a term) distributed in a given proposition.
  4. Mathematics.
    1. (of a binary operation) having the property that terms in an expression may be expanded in a particular way to form an equivalent expression, as a(b + c) = ab + ac.
    2. having reference to this property: distributive law for multiplication over addition.
    3. (of a lattice) having the property that for any three elements, the intersection of the first element with the union of the others is equal to the intersection of the first element with each of the others.


  1. a distributive word or expression.


  1. characterized by or relating to distribution
  2. grammar referring separately to the individual people or items in a group, as the words each and every


  1. grammar a distributive word
  2. maths able to be distributed:multiplication is distributive over addition

mid-15c., from Middle French distributif, from Late Latin distributivus, from Latin distribut-, past participle stem of distribuere (see distribution). Related: Distributively.

  1. Relating to the property of multiplication over division which states that applying multiplication to a set of quantities that are combined by addition yields the same result as applying multiplication to each quantity individually and then adding those results together. Thus 2 X (3 + 4) is equal to (2 X 3) + (2 X 4). See also associative commutative.

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