Meaning of DISTRIBUTIVE in English


I. də̇ˈstribyəd.]iv, -yət] adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French distributif, from Late Latin distributivus, from Latin distributus (past participle of distribuere to distribute) + -ivus -ive — more at distribute

1. : of or relating to distribution: as

a. : serving to divide and assign in portions : dealing a proper share to each of a group

serving both a collective and distributive function in the charity organization

b. : spreading out, covering, diffusing, or scattering more or less evenly over an area or throughout a space

you may interpret the word “salvation” in any way you like, and make it as diffuse and distributive , or as climacteric and integral a phenomenon as you please — William James

c. : engaged in or concerned with distribution especially of goods

the distributive and service trades

he had founded the Ceylonese cooperative movement, which was to become the major distributive agency for foodstuffs in the island — Current Biography

2. of a word : referring singly and without exception to the members of a group

each, every, either, neither, and none are distributive

: referring to a single member of a group

which in “which one of the men” is distributive

: expressing division of a group into smaller groups

the distributive Latin word bini “two by two”

or individuals

the distributive Latin word singuli “one by one”

3. : taken in its full extension — used of a term in logic

4. : producing the same element when operating on a whole as when operating on each part and collecting the results

multiplication is distributive relative to addition since a(b+c)=ab+ac

• dis·trib·u·tive·ness -nə̇s noun -es

II. noun

( -s )

: a distributive word

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.