Definition of distribute in English:

distribute

Line breaks: dis¦trib|ute
Pronunciation: /dɪˈstrɪbjuːt
 
, ˈdɪstrɪbjuːt
 
/

verb

[with object]
  • 1Give a share or a unit of (something) to each of a number of recipients: information leaflets are being distributed to hotels
    More example sentences
    • The three villages, though separately ruled, worked together as a unit, sharing and distributing the resources they had at their disposal.
    • Usaid pays an aid organization to hire independent staffers, who then travel to the recipient country and distribute aid as they see fit.
    • Sharing these views is what made the Internet in the first place; a medium to quickly share and distribute information.
    Synonyms
    give out, deal out, hand out/round, issue, dispense, administer, pass round, dole out, dispose of; allocate, allot, apportion, assign, share out, divide out/up, measure out, mete out, parcel out, ration out
    informal divvy up, dish out
    circulate, issue; hand out, deliver, convey, transmit
  • 1.1Supply (goods) to retailers: the journal is distributed worldwide
    More example sentences
    • The goods were then distributed to major phone retailers, the ministry said.
    • The idea was to rationalize and redefine retailing by distributing goods in a cultivated manner: efficiently, honestly, and cleanly.
    • The Li & Fung group has focused strongly on China where its privately held IDS Group can now sell and distribute goods in bulk to mainland retailers.
  • 1.2 Printing Separate (metal type that has been set up) and return the characters to their separate compartments in a type case.
  • 2 (be distributed) Occur throughout an area: the birds are mainly distributed in marshes and river valleys
    More example sentences
    • A further 30 species were primarily confined to freshwater riparian areas distributed throughout the park.
    • The fat was distributed delicately yet densely throughout the meat, looking almost like snow.
    • A climbing fern Lygodium japonicum is classified into the Filicales and is distributed throughout the warm temperate areas in Japan.
    Synonyms
  • 2.1Spread (a load) over an area: the seat is designed to ensure the weight of the passenger is evenly distributed
    More example sentences
    • A simple way to reduce overloading is to ensure adequate number of electric points so that load is distributed evenly through different circuits.
    • The system bears the maximum and evenly distributed load.
    • ‘The work load gets evenly distributed through all semesters,’ she says.
  • 2.2 (as adjective distributed) Computing (Of a computer system) spread over several machines, especially over a network: a distributed system
    More example sentences
    • His main areas of interest are computer networks and distributed computing.
    • According to Drummond, Google now operates the world's largest distributed computer system.
    • The Common ARTS system is a highly distributed, networked, multithreaded, real-time system.
  • 3 Logic Use (a term) to include every individual of the class to which it refers: the middle term must be distributed, at least once, in the premises
    More example sentences
    • Failing to distribute the middle term over at least one of the other terms is the fallacy of undistributed middle.

Derivatives

distributable

adjective
More example sentences
  • Transferring content from a deteriorating analogue format into a digitally distributable format gives that content a new life.
  • If your efforts are freely distributable (under copyright or even public domain), I'd like to hear from you, so I can add them to the system.
  • The accounting documents which are available show that there were no distributable reserves.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin distribut- 'divided up', from the verb distribuere, from dis- 'apart' + tribuere 'assign'.

Usage

The word distribute is pronounced either with the stress on the -stri- or with the stress on the dis-. Until recently the latter, with the stress on the first syllable, was considered incorrect in standard British English, but now both pronunciations are standard.

More definitions of distribute

Definition of distribute in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea