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Definition of "distributive" [dis•trib•u•tive]

  • Of, relating to, or involving distribution. (adjective)
  • Serving to distribute. (adjective)
  • Mathematics Of or relating to a rule that the same product results in multiplication when performed on a set of numbers as when performed on members of the set individually. If a × (b + c) = a × b + a × c, then × is distributive over +. (adjective)
  • Grammar Referring to each individual or entity of a group separately rather than collectively, as every in the sentence Every employee attended the meeting. (adjective)
  • A distributive word or term. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "distributive" in a sentence
  • "He is not a communist, he writes, because although he does support what he calls "distributive justice" the distribution of material goods as well as "psycho-emotional" goods, such as stability and peace of mind, he also advocates for the private ownership of property."
  • "A bargain is called distributive when more for one means less for the other, when no joint gains beyond simple agreement exist."
  • "But there is another kind of justice called distributive justice, which deals which how collective entities a family, a company, or a state distribute their corporate products to the individuals that make up that collective entity and contribute to it."