or dis·trib·ut·er



a person or thing that distributes.
  1. a person, firm, etc., engaged in the general distribution or marketing of some article or class of goods.
  2. a wholesaler who has exclusive rights to market, within a given territory, the goods of a manufacturer or company.
Automotive, Machinery. a device in a multicylinder engine that distributes the igniting voltage to the spark plugs in a definite sequence.
  1. (in a press) one of the rollers for spreading ink on the table, rolling it to a proper consistency, and transferring it to rollers that ink the form or plate.
  2. Also called distributor bar.(in a Linotype) a bar with keylike cuts along its length, for sorting matrices into their proper magazines after type has been cast.

Origin of distributor

From the Late Latin word distribūtor, dating back to 1520–30. See distribute, -tor
Related formssub·dis·trib·u·tor, nounun·der·dis·trib·u·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for distributor

trader, dealer, merchandiser, salesperson, jobber

Examples from the Web for distributor

Contemporary Examples of distributor

Historical Examples of distributor

  • She was not a conqueror of nations or a distributor of crowns, but a giver of alms.

  • Man himself is a great carrier and distributor of his own diseases.

    More Science From an Easy Chair

    Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester

  • As a rule, all that a "pusher" or distributor can tell is where he got the bad money.

    The Barrel Mystery

    William J. (William James) Flynn

  • The distributor of papers looked at her a little sharply as he went by.

  • But he was by now almost a capitalist—he was a distributor of meal-tickets.

    H. R.

    Edwin Lefevre

British Dictionary definitions for distributor




a person or thing that distributes
a wholesaler or middleman engaged in the distribution of a category of goods, esp to retailers in a specific area
the device in a petrol engine that distributes the high-tension voltage to the sparking plugs in the sequence of the firing order
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 distributor

1520s, distributer (Latinized form is from 1570s), agent noun from Latin distribuere (see distribution). As a part in an internal combustion engine, from 1905.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper