Entries linking to maldistribution
word-forming element of Latin origin meaning "bad, badly, ill, poorly, wrong, wrongly," from French mal (adv.), from Old French mal (adj., adv.) "evil, ill, wrong, wrongly" (9c.), from Latin male (adv.) "badly," or malus (adj.) "bad, evil" (fem. mala, neuter malum), from Proto-Italic *malo-, from PIE *mol-o-, probably from PIE root *mel- (3) "false, bad, wrong."
Most Modern English words with this element are 19c. coinages. It generally implies imperfection or deficiency, but often it is simply negative (as in malfeasance, malcontent). It is equivalent to dys- and caco- of Greek origin and Germanic mis- (1).
mid-14c., distribucioun, "act of dividing or parceling out," from Old French distribution (13c.) and directly from Latin distributionem (nominative distributio) "a division, distribution," noun of action from past-participle stem of distribuere "to divide, deal out in portions," from dis- "individually" (see dis-) + tribuere "to pay, assign, grant," also "allot among the tribes or to a tribe," from tribus (see tribe).
Meaning "that which is distributed or apportioned" is from late 14c. Sense of "act of spreading out as over a surface" is from 1580s. Related: Distributional (1804).