distribute
verb (-uted; -uting) Etymology: Middle English, from Latin distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere to allot — more at tribute Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to divide among several or many ; apportion <
distribute expenses
>
2. a. to spread out so as to cover something ; scatter b. to give out or deliver especially to members of a group <
distribute newspapers
>
<
distribute leaflets
>
c. to place or position so as to be properly apportioned over or throughout an area <
200 pounds distributed on a 6-foot frame
>
d. to use (a term) so as to convey information about every member of the class named <
the proposition “all men are mortal” distributes “man” but not “mortal”
>
3. a. to divide or separate especially into kinds b. to return the units of (as typeset matter) to storage 4. to use in or as an operation so as to be mathematically distributive intransitive verb to be mathematically distributive <
multiplication distributes over addition
>
distributee noun Synonyms: distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out 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
>
. 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
>
. divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal <
three charitable groups divided the proceeds
>
. deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece <
deal out equipment and supplies
>
. dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply <
doled out what little food there was
>
.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • distribute — distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole are comparable when they mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. Distribute implies either an apportioning among many by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts, and… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • distribute — dis·trib·ute /di stri byüt/ vt ut·ed, ut·ing 1: to divide among several or many: apportion 2: to give out or deliver esp. to members of a group see also dividend …   Law dictionary

  • distribute — dis‧trib‧ute [dɪˈstrɪbjuːt] verb [transitive] 1. MARKETING COMMERCE to make goods available to customers after they have been produced: • The new products will be sold under the Lipton brand and distributed by Pepsi. 2 …   Financial and business terms

  • Distribute — Dis*trib ute, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Distributed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Distributing}.] [L. distributus, p. p. of distribuere to divide, distribute; dis + tribuere to assign, give, allot. See {Tribute}.] 1. To divide among several or many; to deal out; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distribute — [di strib′yo͞ot, di strib′yoot] vt. distributed, distributing [ME distributen < L distributus, pp. of distribuere, to distribute < dis , apart + tribuere, to allot: see TRIBUTE] 1. to divide and give out in shares; allot 2. to scatter or… …   English World dictionary

  • distribute — (v.) early 15c., to deal out or apportion, from L. distributus, pp. of distribuere to divide, distribute (see DISTRIBUTION (Cf. distribution)). Related: Distributable; distributed; distributing …   Etymology dictionary

  • distribute — [v1] allocate, deliver, spread administer, allot, apportion, appropriate, assign, bestow, circulate, consign, convey, cut up, deal, deal out, diffuse, disburse, dish out*, dispense, disperse, dispose, disseminate, divide, divvy up*, dole out*,… …   New thesaurus

  • Distribute — Dis*trib ute, v. i. To make distribution. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distribute — To sort mail in order to group pieces according to a plan or scheme …   Glossary of postal terms

  • distribute — should be pronounced with the stress on the second syllable, although (as with contribute) pronunciation with stress on the first syllable is increasingly heard …   Modern English usage

  • distribute — ► VERB 1) hand or share out to a number of recipients. 2) (be distributed) be spread over an area. 3) supply (goods) to retailers. DERIVATIVES distributable adjective. ORIGIN Latin distribuere divide up …   English terms dictionary

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