distribute

To distribute is to disperse widely, hand out or spread around. While you're still snoozing, the paper boy is busy distributing the newspaper all over the neighborhood.

This verb was first recorded in the early 15th century and has its roots in the Latin distributus, meaning β€œto divide.” Think of dividing up the last cookies in the cookie jar and passing them out to all your friends. Distribute can also mean to space out or arrange in a particular order β€” you'd want to distribute the chairs in even lines across the floor when setting up for a concert, for example.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: distribute

1
v
give to several people
2
v
be mathematically distributive
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: distribute
1

v give to several people

Synonyms:
give out, hand out, pass out
Types:
apportion, deal, divvy up, portion out, share
give out as one's portion or share
Type of:
gift, give, present
give as a present; make a gift of

v cause be distributed

Synonyms:
circulate, pass around, pass on
Types:
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send around
forward to others
utter
put into circulation
scatter, spread, spread out
strew or distribute over an area
circularise, circularize
distribute circulars to
manure, muck
spread manure, as for fertilization
birdlime, lime
spread birdlime on branches to catch birds
circumfuse
spread something around something
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v administer or bestow, as in small portions

Synonyms:
administer, allot, deal, deal out, dish out, dispense, dole out, lot, mete out, parcel out, shell out
Types:
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allot, assign, portion
give out
reallot
allot again
deal
distribute cards to the players in a game
apply, give
give or convey physically
allow, appropriate, earmark, reserve, set aside
give or assign a resource to a particular person or cause
allocate, apportion
distribute according to a plan or set apart for a special purpose
misdeal
deal cards wrongly
tread
apply (the tread) to a tire
administer
perform (a church sacrament) ritually
Type of:
give
transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody

v distribute or disperse widely

Synonyms:
spread
Antonyms:
collect, garner, gather, pull together
assemble or get together
Types:
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generalise, generalize
become systemic and spread throughout the body
metastasise, metastasize
spread throughout the body
discharge
pour forth or release
straw, strew
spread by scattering ("straw" is archaic)
export
cause to spread in another part of the world
propagate
transmit or cause to broaden or spread
deploy
to distribute systematically or strategically
redistribute
distribute anew
sprawl, straggle
go, come, or spread in a rambling or irregular way
diffuse, fan out, spread, spread out
move outward
eject, force out, squeeze out, squirt
cause to come out in a squirt
disperse, dot, dust, scatter, sprinkle
distribute loosely
play
discharge or direct or be discharged or directed as if in a continuous stream
volley
discharge in, or as if in, a volley
bestrew
cover by strewing
litter
make a place messy by strewing garbage around
redeploy
deploy anew
percolate
spread gradually
creep
grow or spread, often in such a way as to cover (a surface)
bleed, run
be diffused
mantle
spread over a surface, like a mantle

v spread throughout a given area

“the function distributes the values evenly”
Type of:
scatter, spread, spread out
strew or distribute over an area

v cause to become widely known

Synonyms:
broadcast, circularise, circularize, circulate, diffuse, disperse, disseminate, pass around, propagate, spread
circulate, go around, spread
become widely known and passed on
Types:
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podcast
distribute (multimedia files) over the internet for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer
sow
introduce into an environment
generalise, generalize, popularise, popularize, vulgarise, vulgarize
cater to popular taste to make popular and present to the general public; bring into general or common use
carry, run
include as the content; broadcast or publicize
Type of:
air, bare, publicise, publicize
make public

v make available

“The publisher wants to distribute the book in Asia”
Types:
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issue, supply
circulate or distribute or equip with
reticulate
distribute by a network, as of water or electricity
free, release, unblock, unfreeze
make (assets) available
reissue
issue (a new version of)
free, release
make (information) available for publication
Type of:
transfer
cause to change ownership

v to arrange in a systematic order

Synonyms:
stagger
Type of:
arrange, set up
put into a proper or systematic order
2

v be mathematically distributive

Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v be distributed or spread, as in statistical analyses

“Values distribute
Type of:
be, exist
have an existence, be extant
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