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disburse

[dis-burs]
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verb (used with object), dis·bursed, dis·burs·ing.
  1. to pay out (money), especially for expenses; expend.
  2. to distribute or scatter: Our troops were disbursed over a wide area. She disbursed the flowers to the children.
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Origin of disburse

1520–30; < Middle French desbourser, Old French desborser, equivalent to des- dis-1 + -borser, derivative of borse purse < Late Latin bursa bag
Related formsdis·burs·a·ble, adjectivedis·burs·er, nounnon·dis·burs·a·ble, adjectivenon·dis·bursed, adjectivere·dis·burse, verb (used with object), re·dis·bursed, re·dis·burs·ing.un·dis·bursed, adjectivewell-dis·bursed, adjective
Can be confuseddisburse disperse

Synonyms

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1. lay out. See spend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for disburse

disburse

verb
  1. (tr) to pay out
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Derived Formsdisbursable, adjectivedisbursement, noundisburser, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Old French desborser, from des- dis- 1 + borser to obtain money, from borse bag, from Late Latin bursa

usage

Disburse is sometimes wrongly used where disperse is meant: the police used a water cannon to disperse (not disburse) the crowd
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for disburse

v.

1520s, disbourse, from Old French desbourser (13c.) "extract (money) from a purse, spend (money)," from des- (see dis-) + bourse "purse" (see bursar). Related: Disbursed; disbursing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper