I am looking for an adjective to describe something that cannot be found in a single location. For example, teaching jobs are spread out throughout the country, in cities and counties. They are not all concentrated in a single city and town.

Is there an adjective that I can use to describe teaching jobs? An adjective that means "spread out" or "not concentrated in a single location".

  • 4
    "Widespread", "disseminated", "dispersed" are a few options. You should be able to Google synonyms for any of these words and for "spread out", too, with some good results. Mar 24, 2016 at 18:20
  • Just to clarify, are you looking for a single word meaning 'not concentrated in a single location' that can be used in one or both of these slots? (a) There are ___ jobs available in teaching. (b) Jobs in teaching are ___, unlike jobs in the lead-mining industry. Mar 26, 2016 at 15:39

3 Answers 3


Teaching jobs are [geographically] distributed.

  1. (be distributed) Occur throughout an area:
    the birds are mainly distributed in marshes and river valleys
    A further 30 species were primarily confined to freshwater riparian areas distributed throughout the park.
    The fat was distributed delicately yet densely throughout the meat, looking almost like snow.
    A climbing fern Lygodium japonicum is classified into the Filicales and is distributed throughout the warm temperate areas in Japan.

    -- http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/distribute
  • 2
    I don't know why this had a downvote. Distributed seems to fit quite well
    – Chris H
    Mar 24, 2016 at 18:36
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    Didn't know it had a downvote. Some people are very funny. 'Distributed' seems to be an excellent suggestion (i.e. it was my first thought, too), and I don't see the offence in providing a reference. Mar 24, 2016 at 18:56
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    ... I'd say it was because the bare participial adjective doesn't work: *the birds are [mainly] distributed / *A climbing fern Lygodium japonicum is classified into the Filicales and is distributed ... are unacceptable. In my opinion, this doesn't deserve a downvote (or an upvote) though. Mar 24, 2016 at 20:35
  • @EdwinAshworth I disagree. 'Distributed' can mean simply 'not concentrated', and neither word needs qualification in that sense. To take your cue... 'Surveys consistently show that the birds are typically concentrated [in one or more unspecified locations], even though the worms are always distributed [by statistical comparison].' The usage would be specialised (which is what OP is after) but in no way perverse. Mar 24, 2016 at 21:06
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    @Captain Cranium The first 50 Google hits for "the birds are distributed" contains no unembellished (ie discounting 'where / how the birds are distributed' / 'the birds are distributed sparsely' / 'the birds are distributed over ... ' ...) adjectival usages. Perhaps you could find an example. If so, you might go on to see how common the usage is. // I don't see how 'teaching jobs' (which is an example of what OP 'is after') fits with a specialist register. Mar 24, 2016 at 21:23

For the specific context you mention, I believe that distributed is the best choice; to be more precise (and slightly pedantic), use uniformly distributed.  One might also say scattered, as in “scattered showers”.  For the more general question of something that is spread out, diffuse (spread out over a wide area) seems to fit. 

In the context of chemistry, the opposite of concentrated is dilute.


I'm no pedantic, but I like ubiquitous. This is just my personal opinion, but distributed sounds to me like it should be used with more tangible nouns like distributing flyers or drugs. Whereas ubiquitous sounds like it can be used with both tangible and nontangible things, like a teaching job.

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