- (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.
Origin of distributive
Examples from the Web for distributive
Greg Sargent at The Washington Post has charted the distributive effect of the ACA tax increases.
Moreover, self-configuration, parallelism, and distributive strategies are brought to expression in simulations of the future.The Civilization of Illiteracy|Mihai Nadin
Such works therefore are rewardable according to the distributive justice of the law of grace, by which we must be judged.A Christian Directory (Volume 1 of 4)|Richard Baxter
But the distributive business of a country is more largely artificial.Railroads: Rates and Regulations|William Z. Ripley
Nevertheless, it is necessary to be familiar with the expression, as it is usually opposed to distributive justice.Elements of Morals|Paul Janet
To believe no man in his own cause, is the standing and perpetual rule of distributive justice.
British Dictionary definitions for distributive
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.