UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/dɪˈstrɪbjuːt/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/dɪˈstrɪbyut/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(di strib′yo̅o̅t)
to divide and give out in shares; deal out; allot.
to disperse through a space or over an area; spread; scatter.
Businessto promote, sell, and ship or deliver (an item or line of merchandise) to individual customers, esp. in a specified region or area.
to pass out or deliver (mail, newspapers, etc.) to intended recipients.
to divide into distinct phases:The process was distributed into three stages.
to divide into classes:These plants are distributed into 22 classes.
Philosophy[Logic.]to employ (a term) in a proposition so as to refer to all individuals denoted by the term.
Chemistry[Physical Chem.]to dissolve uniformly in a solvent consisting of layers of immiscible or partially miscible substances.
Printingto roll out (ink) on the table to attain the proper consistency.
Printingto return (type) to the proper place after printing.
Latin distribūtus, past participle of distribuere to divide up. See dis-1, tribute
late Middle English 1400–50
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged assign, mete, apportion. Distribute,dispense apply to giving out something. Distribute implies apportioned, individualized giving, esp. 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, esp. 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.See corresponding entry in Unabridged dispose, sort, arrange, categorize.