Pronunciation: /dɪˈstrɪ byut/ Explain

To distribute is to expand an expression by multiplying through parentheses. Distributing uses the distributive property of multiplication over addition and subtraction.


2(x+2)(x-3) = x*(x-3)+2*(x-3) = x*x+x*(-3)+2*x+2*(-3) = x^2-3x+2x-6 = x^2-x-6


  1. Chrystal, G.. Introduction to Algebra for the use of Secondary School and Technical Colleges. 3rd edition. pg 39. www.archive.org. Adam and Charles Black. 1902. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/introductiontoal00chryuoft#page/39/mode/1up/search/distribute. Buy the book
  2. Aley, Robert J. and Rothrock, David A.. The Essentials of Algebra for Secondary Schools. pp 45-47. www.archive.org. Silver, Burdett and Company. 1904. Last Accessed 8/6/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924031286143#page/n56/mode/1up. Buy the book

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Cite this article as:

McAdams, David E. Distribute. 7/4/2018. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/d/distribute.html.

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Revision History

7/4/2018: Removed broken links, updated license, implemented new markup, implemented new Geogebra protocol. (McAdams, David E.)
1/23/2010: Added "References", expanded description to include distributive property of multiplication. (McAdams, David E.)
12/13/2008: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)

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