Pronunciation: /dɪˈstrɪ.bjut/ Explain

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


  1. 3(x - 2) = 3·x - 3·2 = 3x - 6
  2. (x + 2)(x - 3) =
    x(x - 3) + 2(x -3 ) =
    x·x + x·(-3) + 2·x + 2·(-3) =
    x2 - 3x + 2x - 6 =
    x2 - x - 6


  1. McAdams, David E.. All Math Words Dictionary, distribute. 2nd Classroom edition 20150108-4799968. pg 64. Life is a Story Problem LLC. January 8, 2015. Buy the book
  2. 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 7/3/2018. http://www.archive.org/stream/introductiontoal00chryuoft#page/39/mode/1up/search/distribute. Buy the book
  3. 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 7/3/2018. 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. 4/20/2019. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. https://www.allmathwords.org/en/d/distribute.html.

Revision History

4/20/2019: Updated equations and expressions to the new format (McAdams, David E.)
12/21/2018: Reviewed and corrected IPA pronunication. (McAdams, David E.)
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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