1. Tending to distribute; serving to divide and assign in portions; dealing to each his proper share. “Distributive justice.”
2. Logic Assigning the species of a general term.
3. Gram. Expressing separation; denoting a taking singly, not collectively; as, a distributive adjective or pronoun, such as each, either, every; a distributive numeral, as (Latin) bini (two by two).
Distributive operation Math., any operation which either consists of two or more parts, or works upon two or more things, and which is such that the result of the total operation is the same as the aggregated result of the two or more partial operations. Ordinary multiplication is distributive, since a × (b + c) = ab + ac, and (a + b) × c = ac + bc.
Distributive proportion. Math. See Fellowship.
Dis·trib·u·tive, n. Gram. A distributive adjective or pronoun; also, a distributive numeral.
adj 1: serving to distribute or allot or disperse [ant: collective]
2: tending to disperse [syn: dispersive]