What does distribute mean?

Definitions for distribute
dɪˈstrɪb yutdis·trib·ute

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word distribute.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. distribute, administer, mete out, deal, parcel out, lot, dispense, shell out, deal out, dish out, allot, dole outverb

    administer or bestow, as in small portions

    "administer critical remarks to everyone present"; "dole out some money"; "shell out pocket money for the children"; "deal a blow to someone"; "the machine dispenses soft drinks"

  2. spread, distributeverb

    distribute or disperse widely

    "The invaders spread their language all over the country"

  3. distributeverb

    make available

    "The publisher wants to distribute the book in Asia"

  4. distribute, give out, hand out, pass outverb

    give to several people

    "The teacher handed out the exams"

  5. circulate, pass around, pass on, distributeverb

    cause be distributed

    "This letter is being circulated among the faculty"

  6. circulate, circularize, circularise, distribute, disseminate, propagate, broadcast, spread, diffuse, disperse, pass aroundverb

    cause to become widely known

    "spread information"; "circulate a rumor"; "broadcast the news"

  7. distributeverb

    spread throughout a given area

    "the function distributes the values evenly"

  8. distributeverb

    be distributed or spread, as in statistical analyses

    "Values distribute"

  9. distributeverb

    be mathematically distributive

  10. stagger, distributeverb

    to arrange in a systematic order

    "stagger the chairs in the lecture hall"


  1. distributeverb

    To divide into portions and dispense.

    He distributed the bread amongst his followers.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  2. distributeverb

    To supply to retail outlets.

    The agency distributes newspapers to local shops.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  3. distributeverb

    To deliver or pass out.

    A network of children distributes flyers to every house.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  4. distributeverb

    To scatter or spread.

    I raked the soil then distributed grass seed.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  5. distributeverb

    To apportion (more or less evenly).

    The robot's six legs distributed its weight over a wide area.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  6. distributeverb

    To classify or separate into categories.

    The database distributed verbs into transitive and intransitive segments.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

  7. distributeverb

    To be distributive.

    Etymology: From distributus, past participle of distribuere, from dis- + tribuere; see tribute.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Distributeverb

    to divide among several or many; to deal out; to apportion; to allot

  2. Distributeverb

    to dispense; to administer; as, to distribute justice

  3. Distributeverb

    to divide or separate, as into classes, orders, kinds, or species; to classify; to assort, as specimens, letters, etc

  4. Distributeverb

    to separate (type which has been used) and return it to the proper boxes in the cases

  5. Distributeverb

    to spread (ink) evenly, as upon a roller or a table

  6. Distributeverb

    to employ (a term) in its whole extent; to take as universal in one premise

  7. Distributeverb

    to make distribution

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Distribute

    dis-trib′ūt, v.t. to divide amongst several: to deal out or allot: to classify: to give a logical term its fullest extension.—n. Distrib′uend, that which is to be distributed.—adjs. Distrib′utable, that may be divided; Distrib′utary, distributing.—ns. Distrib′uter, -or; Distribū′tion, allotment: classification: the application of a general term to all the objects denoted by it.—adjs. Distribū′tional; Distrib′utive, that distributes, separates, or divides: giving to each his own.—n. a word, like each or every, that indicates the several individuals of a number.—adv. Distrib′utively.—Geographical distribution, the department of science that treats of the distribution of animals and plants over certain areas of the globe. [L. distribuĕredis, asunder, tribuĕre, tribūtum, to allot.]

Editors Contribution

  1. distribute

    To arrange in a systematic order.

    They did distribute the chairs around the hall for the concert.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 3, 2020  
  2. distribute

    To share for a specific purpose.

    They did distribute the stock between the various shops.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 7, 2020  
  3. distribute

    To supply commodities, goods or products to a retailer or wholesaler.

    The food was distributed to the retail shops around the region at a very efficient speed.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 3, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'distribute' in Verbs Frequency: #553

How to pronounce distribute?

How to say distribute in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of distribute in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of distribute in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of distribute in a Sentence

  1. Clare Boothe Luce:

    In politics women type the letters, lick the stamps, distribute the pamphlets and get out the vote. Men get elected.

  2. Julie Riewe:

    Mutual fund advisers have a fiduciary duty to manage the conflict of interest associated with fund distribution, namely whether to use their own assets or to recommend to their fund's board to use the fund's assets to distribute shares, first Eagle breached that fiduciary duty by using the funds' assets rather than its own money to pay for distribution.

  3. Greg Abbott:

    The state of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized, as we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

  4. Disney CEO Bob Iger:

    All of the movie companies that are expecting to distribute movies coming up in China obviously are impacted by this, the bigger issue on everybody's mind, the bigger concern, is what's going on with this virus and how far will it go in terms of its impact on people.

  5. Ryan Arens:

    I stripped to my boxers and got the guy out of the boat. Then, I slid the boat out onto the ice, using it to distribute my weight, i shimmed out to where the ice was thin.

Images & Illustrations of distribute

  1. distributedistributedistributedistributedistribute

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for distribute

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • نشرArabic
  • раздавам, разпръсквам, разпределямBulgarian
  • distribuovatCzech
  • beliefern, ausliefern, aufteilen, verteilenGerman
  • disdoni, distribuiEsperanto
  • distribuirSpanish
  • jakaa, luokitella, levittää, jaella, jakautua, lajitellaFinnish
  • répartir, distribuerFrench
  • scaoilIrish
  • חילק, הפיץHebrew
  • բաշխել, բաժանելArmenian
  • skipta, deila út, flokka, útdeila, dreifa, útbýta, úthlutaIcelandic
  • suddividere, distribuireItalian
  • 分類する, 蒔く, 配達, 分ける, 配送Japanese
  • leveren, verspreiden, verdelen, opdelen, indelenDutch
  • distribuir, classificar, parcelar, espalharPortuguese
  • repartiza, distribui, livra, împărți, clasificaRomanian
  • раздавать, распространять, распределять, раздать, распространить, распределить, разбрасывать, разделять, разбрызгать, разбросать, разделить, делить, разбрызгиватьRussian
  • fördela, utdela, uppdela, dela ut, distribueraSwedish
  • paylaştırmak, dağıtmakTurkish

Get even more translations for distribute »


Find a translation for the distribute definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these distribute definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "distribute." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Sep. 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/distribute>.

    Are we missing a good definition for distribute? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    warn strongly; put on guard
    • A. excogitate
    • B. lucubrate
    • C. monish
    • D. knead

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for distribute: