Disbursement Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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Reimbursement can be defined as the action of compensating someone for an out-of-pocket expense by giving them an amount of money equal to what was spent. That said, what does the word disbursement mean? Does it have anything to do with reimbursement? And how is it used in a sentence? 

You have questions, and we have answers. Read on to discover our complete guide on the word disbursement.

What Is the Definition of Disbursement?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, disbursement can be defined as an amount of money given for a particular purpose, such as goods or services. 

Disbursement relates to a cash flow event, not an accounting record. Normally paid through petty cash or a company’s bank balance, how the disbursement is paid depends on the size of the expense. 

Some common examples of disbursements include:

  • Insurance payments
  • Taxes
  • Interest payments
  • Accounts receivable 
  • Rent
  • Payroll expenses
  • Student Loans
  • Operating expenses

In other words, it’s the act of spending money. 

Note: Be careful not to confuse disPERSement with disBURSement. While they are similar to look at they are far from synonymous in definition, with disbursement meaning scattering or separating. 

Another word that can be confused with disbursement is reimbursement. While at face value, they may look as though they are synonyms, reimbursement actually refers to the payment refunded for the disbursement. 

What Is the Origin of Disbursement?

By studying the etymology of disbursement, we can better understand its current definition. It derives from a word that literally means, “extract money from a purse.” 

Disbursement dates all the way back to around 1590 to 1600. Pronounced dis-burs-muhnt, disbursement comes from the Old French word desbourser. Bourse here means”purse,” and the phrase translates to “extract money from a purse.”

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Disbursement?

Now that you understand what our word of the day means let’s review a few synonyms and antonyms. These tools will help you to not only improve your overall understanding of the word disbursement but expand your existing vocabulary, too. 

Synonyms of Disbursement

  • Frittering away
  • Rationing out
  • Dissipation
  • Slice of the cake
  • Wasting
  • Periodic payment
  • Returns 
  • Cash outflow 
  • Dividing out
  • Parting with
  • Allotment
  • Outlay 
  • Out of pocket
  • Dividing up
  • Distribution 
  • Quittance 
  • Squandering
  • Payout
  • Disbursal
  • Expenditure
  • Handing out
  • Payment
  • Remittance
  • Stipend
  • Form of payment 
  • Peach of the action
  • Laying out
  • Financial aid 
  • Doling out
  • Admeasurement
  • One’s share

Antonyms of Disbursement

  • Hoard
  • Savings
  • Cause
  • Punishment
  • Delinquency
  • Defaulting
  • Failure
  • Penalty
  • Nonpayment
  • Evasion
  • Stockpiling
  • Assemblage
  • Cumulation
  • Gathering
  • Misallocation
  • Malapportionment 
  • Misassignment 

How Can You Use Disbursement in a Sentence?

Our word of the day can be defined as the act of disbursing money — but do you know how to use it in a sentence? Not to worry; we put together some sentence examples for you to review below:

“Kerry was the epitome of a spoiled brat right down to her monthly disbursement from her parent’s trust fund. “

“Do you happen to know the steps we are required to take to properly submit our disbursement request?” 

“Did you know that John won the lottery? He’s currently waiting on the disbursement of funds, but he’s pretty excited — to say the least.”

“I know what Mike was trying to convey, but he really does need to learn the difference between disbursement and disbursement.” 

“I have been paying into my company’s retirement plan for some 20 years, and I fully intend to retire on the disbursement of funds from that plan later on in life.” 

“If we do not keep track of all cash disbursements made on behalf of a client, how else will we receive our reimbursement later?”

“With the boss man out of town, who is going to fill out the paperwork to process the disbursement of our paychecks this Friday?

“If you’re hoping for a disbursement of funds today, then you’re out of luck because I am broke until next Tuesday.”

“The disbursement of cash won’t be large, but it should be enough to keep you from being homeless.”

“Karen had to wait at the bank for two hours until someone was able to help her with the disbursement of her husband’s life insurance policy.”

What Are Translations of Disbursement?

Wondering how to say disbursement in a different language? Fret not — we’ve got you covered.

Translations of disbursement include:

  • Russian — выплата, оплата, расходы, выплаченная сумма, издержки
  • Irish — eisíocaíocht
  • Italian — l’esborso, lo sborso, il pagamento 
  • Arabic — إنفاق
  • Japanese — 支払い, 出費, 消費, 失費
  • Finnish — maksu, annettu summa
  • Spanish — desembolso
  • Greek — εκταμίευση, έξοδο
  • Chinese (simplified) — 支出, 付出
  • Czech — výplata, výdaj
  • Swedish — utbetalning
  • Mongolian — зарцуулалт
  • Macedonian — исплата
  • Thai — การเบิกจ่าย, รายจ่าย
  • Turkish — ödeme, masraf, ödeme miktarı
  • Filipino — pagbabayad
  • Polish — wydatek
  • Vietnamese — giải ngân, đưa tiền ra trả, sự xuất tiền ra trả
  • Norwegian — utbetaling
  • Korean — 지불, 지불금
  • Polish — desembolso, a despesa
  • Ukrainian — виплата, видатки
  • Dutch — uitgave, uitbetaling, uitgaaf, verschot, voorschieten


Simply put, disbursement can be defined as amounts paid for services or goods from an account or fund. In other words, it’s the act of disbursing. 

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to truly understand the meaning of disbursement. If you would like to discover more interesting words and their definitions, head on over to our website where you’ll find informative blogs, useful tools, and helpful tips. 


Disbursement Synonyms | Collins American English Thesaurus

Best 8 Definitions of Disbursement | Your Dictionary

DISBURSEMENT | definition in the Cambridge American English Dictionary