dis·​burse·​ment dis-ˈbərs-mənt How to pronounce disbursement (audio)
: the act of paying out money especially from a fund : the act of disbursing
the disbursement of government funds
also : funds paid out
received monthly disbursements

Did you know?

Disbursement was minted in English in the late 16th century by melding the noun suffix -ment with the verb disburse. Disburse is a borrowing of the Middle French desbourser, which traces back to the Old French desborser, a combination of the negating prefix des- (equivalent to the English dis-) and borse, which, like its English cognate purse, ultimately traces back to the Medieval Latin bursa, meaning "money bag" and, in earlier Latin usage, "oxhide." During the 16th and 17th centuries, deburse, depurse, and dispurse were deposited in the English language bank as synonyms of disburse. Deburse and depurse were also used respectively to form debursement and depursement—but these synonyms of disburse and disbursement all quickly declined in value and were never redeemed.

Examples of disbursement in a Sentence

substantial disbursements for research and development the disbursement of the foundation's funds to several cancer research centers
Recent Examples on the Web The annual payment has been sent to two large batches of eligible residents during the first two disbursements, on Oct. 5 and Oct. 18. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 10 Nov. 2023 The expansion will allow for the disbursement of $10 million to fund police officers at religious institutions by reimbursing overtime costs incurred. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 19 Oct. 2023 The European Union has plans for a $52.6 billion Ukraine disbursement lasting from 2024 through 2027. Jenny Goldsberry, Washington Examiner, 14 Oct. 2023 Some of those individuals have pressed for a $40 million disbursement from the state to deal with the lingering impacts, saying the city has failed to provide for the victims’ families and the municipal employees physically and emotionally scarred by the event. Antonio Olivo, Washington Post, 4 Oct. 2023 The money will come in two disbursements over two years. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2023 Locke said the audit report on the Pulaski County Regional Solid Waste Management District resulted from Arkansas Legislative Audit identifying questionable district disbursements when auditors conducted another engagement in 2022. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, 12 Aug. 2023 About half of the retirement income of middle-class retirees comes from Social Security, Chen said, but much of the rest comes from 401(K) and IRA disbursements — which depend on investment returns. Jacob Bogage, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 The first mass disbursement of the $1,312 payments will occur on Oct. 5, per the Alaska Department of Revenue, sending payments to eligible residents. Jack Birle, Washington Examiner, 2 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'disbursement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


disburse + -ment, perhaps after Middle French desboursement

First Known Use

circa 1599, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disbursement was circa 1599


Dictionary Entries Near disbursement

Cite this Entry

“Disbursement.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbursement. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dis·​burse·​ment dis-ˈbər-smənt How to pronounce disbursement (audio)
: the act of disbursing
also : funds paid out

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