Distribution means the passing out of something. A teacher is in charge of distribution of corrected essays. A lunch lady manages the distribution of food.

Distribution can also refer to the way something is distributed. In our country, many are concerned about the distribution of wealth, which is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the richest few. When you put money in a brokerage account, it's called a contribution. Taking it out is a distribution.

Definitions of distribution

n the act of distributing or spreading or apportioning

show 16 types...
hide 16 types...
assigning, assignment
the act of distributing something to designated places or persons
distributing again
the act of dispensing (giving out in portions)
allocation, allotment, apportioning, apportionment, assignation, parceling, parcelling
the act of distributing by allotting or apportioning; distribution according to a plan
the act of distributing playing cards
revenue sharing
distribution of part of the federal tax income to states and municipalities
share-out, sharing
a distribution in shares
grant, subsidisation, subsidization
the act of providing a subsidy
allocation, storage allocation
(computer science) the assignment of particular areas of a magnetic disk to particular data or instructions
reallocation, reallotment, reapportionment
a new apportionment (especially a new apportionment of congressional seats in the United States on the basis of census results)
the act of apportioning or distributing something
the act of rationing
parcel, portion, share
the allotment of some amount by dividing something
an incorrect deal
generosity, unselfishness
acting generously
gift, giving
the act of giving
Type of:
act, deed, human action, human activity
something that people do or cause to happen

n the spatial or geographic property of being scattered about over a range, area, or volume

“worldwide in distribution
“the distribution of nerve fibers”
“in complementary distribution
compactness, concentration, denseness, density, tightness
the spatial property of being crowded together
show 6 types...
hide 6 types...
complementary distribution, complementation
(linguistics) a distribution of related speech sounds or forms in such a way that they only appear in different contexts
the dispersion or spreading of something that was originally localized (as a people or language or culture)
diffusion, dissemination
the property of being diffused or dispersed
the distribution of nerve fibers to an organ or body region
scatter, spread
a haphazard distribution in all directions
the spatial property of being spread out over a wide area or through a large volume
Type of:
spacing, spatial arrangement
the property possessed by an array of things that have space between them

n the commercial activity of transporting and selling goods from a producer to a consumer

Type of:
commerce, commercialism, mercantilism
transactions (sales and purchases) having the objective of supplying commodities (goods and services)

n (statistics) an arrangement of values of a variable showing their observed or theoretical frequency of occurrence

statistical distribution
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
a flat distribution having equal frequencies of occurrence
frequency distribution
a distribution of observed frequencies of occurrence of the values of a variable
Gaussian distribution, normal distribution
a theoretical distribution with finite mean and variance
Poisson distribution
a theoretical distribution that is a good approximation to the binomial distribution when the probability is small and the number of trials is large
sample, sample distribution, sampling
items selected at random from a population and used to test hypotheses about the population
Bernoulli distribution, binomial distribution
a theoretical distribution of the number of successes in a finite set of independent trials with a constant probability of success
acceptance sampling
a statistical procedure for accepting or rejecting a batch of merchandise or documents; involves determining the maximum number of defects discovered in a sample before the entire batch is rejected
random sample
a sample in which every element in the population has an equal chance of being selected
proportional sample, representative sample, stratified sample
the population is divided into strata and a random sample is taken from each stratum
Type of:
arrangement, organisation, organization, system
an organized structure for arranging or classifying

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.