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distribute

[dih-strib-yoot] /dɪˈstrɪb yut/
verb (used with object), distributed, distributing.
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.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English < Latin distribūtus, past participle of distribuere to divide up. See dis-1, tribute
Related forms
distributable, adjective
predistribute, verb (used with object), predistributed, predistributing.
Synonyms
1. assign, mete, apportion. Distribute, dispense apply to giving out something. Distribute implies apportioned, individualized giving, especially of something that is definite or limited in amount or number: The prizes were distributed among ten winners. Dispense formerly implied indiscriminate, general, and liberal giving, especially of something that was more or less indefinite or unmeasured in amount: to dispense largess. It now applies chiefly to giving according to need or deserts, from an organized and official source: to dispense medicines and food to the victims. 6. dispose, sort, arrange, categorize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for distributing
  • Repeat the process, evenly distributing the clumps of pods along the garland.
  • And e-mail has supplanted telegrams as the main mode of distributing reports to subscribers, though postcards are still used.
  • These were of many different calibers, a fact that caused much trouble in distributing ammunition during an engagement.
  • The atria are receiving chambers, and the ventricles distributing ones.
  • He divided irreplaceable plant specimens, secretly distributing them to friends for safekeeping.
  • One theory is that it enables a shorter cycle of reproduction by distributing the costs of the process between the two partners.
  • Collect data by distributing local telephone books to groups of students.
  • On paper, a mechanism does exist for distributing oil revenues somewhat fairly.
  • Municipal water systems use up a lot of energy purifying and distributing water to households.
  • The cost and logistics of shipping, receiving and distributing bulk water are formidable.
British Dictionary definitions for distributing

distribute

/dɪˈstrɪbjuːt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to give out in shares; dispense
2.
to hand out or deliver: to distribute handbills
3.
(often passive) to spread throughout a space or area: gulls are distributed along the west coast
4.
(often passive) to divide into classes or categories; classify: these 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)
Derived Forms
distributable, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin distribuere from dis-1 + tribuere to give
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for distributing

distribute

v.

early 15c., "to deal out or apportion," from Latin distributus, past participle of distribuere "to divide, distribute" (see distribution). Related: Distributable; distributed; distributing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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