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v. dis·trib·ut·ed, dis·trib·ut·ing, dis·trib·utes
1. To divide and dispense in portions.
a. To supply (goods) to retailers.
b. To deliver or pass out: distributing handbills on the street.
a. To place in separate pieces or examples over an area; scatter: distribute grass seed over the lawn.
b. To apportion so as to be evenly spread throughout a given area: 180 pounds of muscle that were well distributed over his 6-foot frame.
4. To separate into categories; classify.
5. Logic To use (a term) so as to include all individuals or entities of a given class.
Mathematics To be distributive. If a × (b + c) = a × b + a × c, then × distributes over +.

[Middle English distributen, from Latin distribuere, distribūt- : dis-, apart; see dis- + tribuere, to give; see tribute.]
Synonyms: distribute, apportion, divide, dispense, dole1, deal1, ration
These verbs mean to give out in portions or shares. Distribute is the least specific: The government distributed land to settlers.
Apportion and divide imply giving out portions, often equal, on the basis of a plan or purpose: The funds were apportioned to each school district. The estate will be divided among the heirs.
Dispense stresses the careful determination of portions, often according to measurement or weight: The pharmacist dispensed the medication.
Dole, often followed by out, implies careful, usually sparing measurement of portions. It can refer to the distribution of charity: The city doled out surplus milk to the needy.
Deal implies orderly, equitable distribution, often piece by piece: I dealt five cards to each player.
Ration refers to equitable division in limited portions of scarce, often necessary, items: The government rationed fuel during the war.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.
A definite literary ambition grew up in me, and in the long reveries of the afternoon, when I was distributing my case, I fashioned a future of overpowering magnificence and undying celebrity.
The Hudson's Bay trader was a perfect master of his business, thoroughly acquainted with the Indians he had to deal with, and held such control over them that none dared to act openly in opposition to his wishes; nay, more -- he came nigh turning the tables upon the captain, and shaking the allegiance of some of his free trappers, by distributing liquors among them.
The duke, likewise, was making his inventory; that is to say, he was distributing to his friends everything of value he had in his house.
Our goods were no sooner landed than we were surrounded with a crowd of officers, all gaping for presents; we were forced to gratify their avarice by opening our bales, and distributing among them some pieces of calico.
* The acquisition of stock in any successor corporation of the distributing corporation or controlled corporation by reason of holding stock in such distributing or controlled corporation; and
Raleigh, NC, July 10, 2015 --(PR.com)-- Mims Distributing Company, a North Carolina wholesale beverage distributor, has announced that it joined SevenFifty.com, an online alcoholic beverage platform that gives restaurants, bars and retailers easy access to products and pricing across all distributor portfolios in their local markets.
1.401(a)(9)-7, Q&A-2, states that if an amount distributed by one plan (distributing plan) is rolled over to another plan (receiving plan), the benefit of the employee under the receiving plan is increased by the amount rolled over for purposes of determining the RMD for the calendar year immediately following the one in which the rollover is distributed.
Distributing complex applications quickly and cheaply
Last July the group issued a fund-raising appeal asking supporters for cash to implement a "1998 Blueprint for Victory." Coalition Executive Director Randy Tate claimed that the organization needed to raise $2.7 million in 120 days to implement the plan, which called in part for printing and distributing huge numbers of voter guides.
Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 provides for tax-free treatment of the separation of one or more active businesses through the distribution by a corporation (Distributing) of the stock or securities of a controlled corporation (Controlled), either existing or newly formed by the transfer of assets to it, by Distributing.