in grammar means ‘referring to each individual of a number or class’. Distributive adjectives and pronouns are words such as each, every, either, neither. A distributive plural is one that corresponds to individuals separately rather than jointly, as in They wear gowns on formal occasions, meaning each person wears one gown. In such contexts a singular noun is often idiomatic, and one could equally say They wear a gown on formal occasions.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Distributive — Dis*trib u*tive, a. [Cf. F. distributif.] 1. Tending to distribute; serving to divide and assign in portions; dealing to each his proper share. Distributive justice. Swift. [1913 Webster] 2. (Logic) Assigning the species of a general term. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distributive — dis‧trib‧u‧tive [dɪˈstrɪbjtɪv] adjective [only before a noun] formal MARKETING COMMERCE TRANSPORT connected with or relating to distribution: • marketing, designers and other distributive agencies …   Financial and business terms

  • Distributive — Dis*trib u*tive, n. (Gram.) A distributive adjective or pronoun; also, a distributive numeral. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distributive — [di strib′yo͞o tiv΄, di stribyoot iv] adj. [ME & OFr distributif < LL distributivus] 1. distributing or tending to distribute 2. relating to distribution 3. Gram. referring individually to all members of a group [“each” and “either” are… …   English World dictionary

  • distributive — adj. Concerned with the sharing and distribution of shares of something among recipients. The Essential Law Dictionary. Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. Amy Hackney Blackwell. 2008 …   Law dictionary

  • distributive — mid 15c., from M.Fr. distributif, from L.L. distributivus, from L. distributus, pp. of distribuere (see DISTRIBUTION (Cf. distribution)). Related: Distributively …   Etymology dictionary

  • distributive — ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to the processes of distribution or things that are distributed. 2) Grammar (of a determiner or pronoun) referring to each individual of a class, not to the class collectively, e.g. each, either. DERIVATIVES distributively …   English terms dictionary

  • distributive — ● distributif, distributive adjectif (latin distributivus) Se dit des numéraux, des indéfinis qui expriment une idée de répartition d objets, pris chacun en particulier (par exemple en français, chaque et chacun). ● distributif, distributive… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Distributive — Distributivité Dans un calcul faisant intervenir par exemple des nombres entiers ou réels, la distributivité permet de passer d un produit de sommes à une somme de produit. Par exemple, 2x(5 + 3) = (2x5) + (2x3). Le premier facteur 2 a été… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • distributive — adjective Date: 15th century 1. of or relating to distribution: as a. dealing a proper share to each of a group b. diffusing more or less evenly 2. of a word referring singly and without exception to the members of a group < each, either, and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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