[dis-truh-byoo-shuh n]


Origin of distribution

1375–1425; late Middle English (< Anglo-French) < Latin distribūtiōn- (stem of distribūtiō). See distribute, -ion
Related formsdis·tri·bu·tion·al, adjectivemis·dis·tri·bu·tion, nounnon·dis·tri·bu·tion, nounnon·dis·tri·bu·tion·al, adjectivepre·dis·tri·bu·tion, nounpro·dis·tri·bu·tion, adjectivesu·per·dis·tri·bu·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of distribution

Historical Examples of distribution

British Dictionary definitions for distribution



the act of distributing or the state or manner of being distributed
a thing or portion distributed
arrangement or location
commerce the process of physically satisfying the demand for goods and services
economics the division of the total income of a community among its members, esp between labour incomes (wages and salaries) and property incomes (rents, interest, and dividends)
statistics the set of possible values of a random variable, or points in a sample space, considered in terms of new theoretical or observed frequencya normal distribution
law the apportioning of the estate of a deceased intestate among the persons entitled to share in it
law the lawful division of the assets of a bankrupt among his creditors
  1. the division of part of a company's profit as a dividend to its shareholders
  2. the amount paid by dividend in a particular distribution
engineering the way in which the fuel-air mixture is supplied to each cylinder of a multicylinder internal-combustion engine
Derived Formsdistributional, adjective
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 distribution

mid-14c., from Old French distribution (13c.) and directly from Latin distributionem (nominative distributio) "a division, distribution," noun of action from past participle stem of distribuere "deal out in portions," from dis- "individually" + tribuere "assign, allot" (see tribute).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

distribution in Medicine




The extension of the branches of arteries or nerves to the tissues and organs.
The area in which the branches of an artery or a nerve terminate, or the area supplied by such an artery or nerve.
A set of numbers and their frequency of occurrence from measurements within a statistical population.
Related formsdis′tri•bution•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

distribution in Culture


The process of marketing and merchandising goods. Also, the way in which wealth or goods or services are allotted, as in the distribution of wealth.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.