distribute

[ dih-strib-yoot ]
/ dɪˈstrɪb yut /

verb (used with object), dis·trib·ut·ed, dis·trib·ut·ing.

Origin of distribute

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin distribūtus, past participle of distribuere to divide up. See dis-1, tribute
Related formsdis·trib·ut·a·ble, adjectivepre·dis·trib·ute, verb (used with object), pre·dis·trib·ut·ed, pre·dis·trib·ut·ing.

Synonym study

1. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for distributing

British Dictionary definitions for distributing

distribute

/ (dɪˈstrɪbjuːt) /

verb (tr)

Derived Formsdistributable, adjective

Word Origin for distribute

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

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