Definition of distribution in US English:


(also distr.)


  • 1The action of sharing something out among a number of recipients.

    ‘she had it printed for distribution among her friends’
    • ‘Igote was claiming that distributions from Badsey were only distributions in the sense of dividends.’
    • ‘The charity initially piggybacked food distribution by Oxfam to supply vaccines after the 1994 drought.’
    • ‘We're also doing blanket food distributions and that's within the first emergency phase.’
    • ‘The Church has official guidelines for the distribution of its Mass cards.’
    • ‘They are also contacting the military to aid in the distribution of the calling cards and cell phones.’
    • ‘WFP distributions are starting this week in the areas of Niger most affected by the food crisis.’
    • ‘The equitable distribution process is guided by factors like need and fairness.’
    • ‘Glencore's 2,000 employees share in regular distributions of its profits.’
    • ‘However, normality has for some not resumed because they have done well from the relief distributions.’
    • ‘The controversy about food distributions in the parks has been particularly heated.’
    • ‘Original pack preparation and distribution took 25 minutes per doctor.’
    • ‘Any distributions made by those community trusts will still attract income tax when appropriate.’
    • ‘What happened was that the shares were sold and then the distributions were paid out of the realised profits.’
    • ‘The day surgery suite poses unique challenges for medication and supply distribution.’
    • ‘The first distributions started rolling out on Friday and were expected to be finished today.’
    • ‘The only existing pipelines were those of the old Soviet distribution network through Russia.’
    • ‘In other words, the trustees have the discretion to make distributions, but haven't done so for years.’
    • ‘Socialist societies have typically had a retail sector to facilitate distribution of consumer goods.’
    giving out, dealing out, handing out, handing round, issue, issuing, issuance, dispensation, administering, administration, passing round, doling out
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    1. 1.1 The way in which something is shared out among a group or spread over an area.
      ‘changes undergone by the area have affected the distribution of its wildlife’
      • ‘To this precondition, we add the requirement of an unequal distribution of wealth.’
      • ‘In effect, the position of the first QTL follows a uniform distribution over the length of the chromosome.’
      • ‘Some would say this does not address the very uneven distribution of resources.’
      • ‘She also said weight distribution made a difference, as characterised by apple and pear-shaped bodies.’
      • ‘Next we estimate the density distribution and the dimensions along the bilayer normal.’
      • ‘No differences in distribution of the bacteria were found between the spray and placebo groups.’
      • ‘Anybody who wants a democratic society cannot accept excessively uneven income distribution.’
      • ‘Local displacement rates were deduced from the spatial distribution of relative elongation rate.’
      • ‘However, the profiles of the posterior probability distributions were proximate.’
      • ‘One of these differences is the distribution and quantity of acidic and basic residues.’
      • ‘Firstly, we charted the specialty specific distribution of the numbers of people in each trust waiting six months or longer.’
      • ‘We corrected death rates for differences in age distribution and sex.’
      • ‘Where distributions overlap, a camp site may be shared by two or three flying fox species at a time.’
      • ‘The altitudinal distribution of Earth-surface processes is controlled by all these factors.’
      • ‘Our results show how biotic and abiotic effects operate synergistically to determine the distribution of these species.’
      • ‘In 1997, Mitchell proposed a new hypothesis for the bimodal size distribution of mutant colonies.’
      • ‘Moreover, there were differences in the anatomic distribution by age categories.’
      • ‘You will see that over successive years the relative distribution of these two species has been reversed.’
      • ‘Air moving within the cloud causes huge differences in the electrical distribution.’
      • ‘In addition, the spatial distribution of this resource promotes different foraging strategies in these birds.’
      dispersal, diffusion, dissemination, scattering, spread
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    2. 1.2 The action or process of supplying goods to stores and other businesses that sell to consumers.
      ‘a manager has the choice of four types of distribution’
      as modifier ‘an established distribution channel’
      • ‘If the distribution channel is selected incorrectly, the brand will decline rapidly.’
      • ‘The poster measures 19 by 21 inches and is available at various distribution centers.’
      • ‘Whirlpool gets a new distribution channel for its appliances and a cut of the tuition.’
      • ‘There cannot be much in it for the producer with all the distribution and retailer costs.’
      • ‘As a proven cost-cutter, Hurd will have to trim expenses related to distribution and supplies.’
      • ‘Manufacturers often form their own distribution systems, which carry only their own brand.’
      • ‘Then they will be sent for distribution to Barnardo's retail stores and projects in and around the region.’
      • ‘Another challenge is the loose grip on the major distribution channel in the market.’
      • ‘The kit will be sold through D-Link's authorised retail, reseller, and distribution partners.’
      • ‘Their goal was to establish a viable relief supply distribution network within a specific time frame.’
      • ‘As the amount and speed of distribution of merchandise increased, so ways of transacting business also changed.’
      • ‘Approximately 250 refrigerated trucks are used to transport Turner products from regional distribution centers.’
      • ‘The wholesalers add value by holding stock and assisting in the distribution process.’
      • ‘Three containers per month are shipped to Europe for distribution into retail outlets.’
      • ‘Part of the plan is to speed up and improve the process of distribution and management of the patch distribution process.’
      • ‘His father then started his own food distribution business supplying fine food, poultry and game to restaurants and hotels.’
      • ‘These cartels often provided marketing and distribution services for members.’
      • ‘It is anticipated that one of the major regional companies would take over both the supply and distribution of fuel.’
      • ‘The distribution of the first tranche is now set to take place on 12 September.’
      • ‘The joint venture with a Mexican firm will cater to the marketing and distribution demands of the local market.’
      supply, supplying, delivery, transport, transportation, conveyance, dispatch, handling, mailing
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    3. 1.3Bridge The different number of cards of each suit in a player's hand.
      ‘strength has two ingredients, high cards and distribution’
      • ‘Any hint as to the distribution of the cards (such as an offer to give up), is punished by immediate loss of the game.’
      • ‘For his claim was a claim about the inevitable sequence of events with that distribution of cards.’


Late Middle English: from Latin distributio(n-), from the verb distribuere (see distribute).