Definition of distributive in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəˈstribyədiv/


1Concerned with the supply of goods to stores and other businesses that sell to consumers: transportation and distributive industries
More example sentences
  • That guarantees a steady supply of financial and distributive muscle from their studio partners, and help with the marketing push come release day.
  • FLS Automation is supplying a distributive control system with Robolab equipment.
  • Sales increased for 37% of retailers taking part in the CBI's distributive trades survey, while 26% reported a fall in sales during the month.
1.1Concerned with the way in which things are shared between people: the distributive effects of public expenditure distributive justice
More example sentences
  • It will examine the structure and distributive effects of the Australian taxation system.
  • His analysis fixed all ‘instruments,’ or resources, and illustrated that the distributive shares were determined in a differential fashion.
  • For Saunders the only distributive principle with enough public support is the principle of reward according to merit.
2 Grammar (Of a determiner or pronoun) referring to each individual of a class, not to the class collectively, e.g., each, either.
3 Mathematics (Of an operation) fulfilling the condition that, when it is performed on two or more quantities already combined by another operation, the result is the same as when it is performed on each quantity individually and the products then combined.
Example sentences
  • In math, people usually talk about the distributive property of one operation over another.
  • Foil, First-Outer-Inner-Last, refers to the distributive property for multiplying two binomials.
  • The most common distributive property is the distribution of multiplication over addition.


A distributive word.



Example sentences
  • We anticipate that some people will approach the interaction distributively and others will approach it integratively.
  • The word ‘appeal’ is apparently used in the Act distributively to cover the different courts referred to where an appellate process is engaged.
  • It is not at large; it has to be looked at distributively, across each particular species of reviewable decision within that definition I took you to earlier.


Late Middle English: from Old French distributif, -ive or late Latin distributivus, from Latin distribut- 'divided up', from the verb distribuere (see distribute).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dis·tri·bu·tive

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