List of 426 Sets of Synonyms - How they Differ - Total of 2307 Words - 127

SYNONYMS: distribute, divide, dispense, dole, deal, ration.
These verbs mean to give out in portions or shares.

Distribute is the least specific: The government distributed land to settlers willing to cultivate it.
Divide implies giving out portions, often equal, on the basis of a plan or purpose: Divide it among the heirs.
Dispense stresses the careful determination of portions, often according to measurement or weight: dispensing medication; dispensed tax dollars judiciously.
Dole, often followed by out, implies careful, usually sparing measurement of portions; it can refer to the distribution of charity (surplus milk and cheese doled out to the needy) but more often suggests lack of generosity: The professor seldom doled out praise.
Deal implies orderly, equitable distribution, often piece by piece: dealt out one hamburger each to the children.
Ration refers to equitable division of scarce items, often necessities, in accordance with a system that limits individual portions: ration fuel in wartime.

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