# distributive

[dih-strib-yuh-tiv]

- serving to distribute, assign, allot, or divide; characterized by or pertaining to distribution.
- Grammar. referring to the members of a group individually, as the adjectives each and every.
- Logic. (of a term) distributed in a given proposition.
- Mathematics.
- (of a binary operation) having the property that terms in an expression may be expanded in a particular way to form an equivalent expression, as a(b + c) = ab + ac.
- having reference to this property: distributive law for multiplication over addition.
- (of a lattice) having the property that for any three elements, the intersection of the first element with the union of the others is equal to the intersection of the first element with each of the others.

Show More

- a distributive word or expression.

Show More

## Origin of distributive

1425–75; late Middle English distributif < Middle French < Late Latin distribūtīvus (see distribute, -ive)

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

## Examples from the Web for distributive

### Contemporary Examples of distributive

### Historical Examples of distributive

The distributive situation is never one of static equilibrium.

The Settlement of Wage DisputesHerbert Feis

This is the very opposite of cumulative: it is distributive.

A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)Augustus De Morgan

All and both are collective; any, each, and every are distributive.

English Synonyms and AntonymsJames Champlin Fernald

How can distributive justice be said to obtain in this world?

Plotinos: Complete Works, v. 4Plotinos (Plotinus)

Such are typical questions in the study of distributive justice.

Distributive JusticeJohn A. (John Augustine) Ryan

## distributive

- characterized by or relating to distribution
- grammar referring separately to the individual people or items in a group, as the words each and every

Show More

- grammar a distributive word
- maths able to be distributed:multiplication is distributive over addition

Show More

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 distributive

mid-15c., from Middle French distributif, from Late Latin distributivus, from Latin distribut-, past participle stem of distribuere (see distribution). Related: Distributively.

Show More

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

## distributive

[dĭ-strĭb′yə-tĭv]

- Relating to the property of multiplication over division which states that applying multiplication to a set of quantities that are combined by addition yields the same result as applying multiplication to each quantity individually and then adding those results together. Thus 2 X (3 + 4) is equal to (2 X 3) + (2 X 4). See also associative commutative.

Show More

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.