dis·tri·bu·tive / disˈtribyətiv/ • adj. 1. concerned with the supply of goods to stores and other businesses that sell to consumers: transportation and distributive industries. ∎ concerned with the way in which things are shared between people: the distributive effects of public expenditure | distributive justice. 2. Gram. (of a determiner or pronoun) referring to each individual of a class, not to the class collectively, e.g., each, either. 3. Math. (of an operation) fulfilling the condition that, when it is performed on two or more quantities already combined by another operation, the result is the same as when it is performed on each quantity individually and the products then combined. • n. Gram. a distributive word. DERIVATIVES: dis·trib·u·tive·ly adv.