Disbursement and dispersement may sound the same, but they are different words. The former word is correct, while the latter (dispersement) is incorrect. Yes, dispersement doesn’t exist in the dictionary and only a misspelling of the word “disbursement.” Disbursement generally talks about an act of paying out, while dispersement is a misspelling of disbursement. Therefore, always use disbursement and never use dispersement.
Since dispersement is only a misspelling of the word disbursement, the verb “disperse” generally means to scatter or spread something. The correct noun form of the word is dispersal, not dispersement. Don’t confuse dispersement with dispersal or dispersion.
When to Use Disbursement
Disbursement is used as a noun that means a payment of money made by a professional person for their service to a client. The person can then claim the money back from their client later. In short, it refers to an act of paying out money from a fund.
In finance, it means a large payment of money, for example, from a bank, organization, or government. It can also refer to the process of making such a payment.
The disbursements given were thousands of dollars as payments to consultants.
After the lawyer’s service, disbursements from the client’s bank were received immediately.
The government announced the disbursement of $393 million as a calamity fund to the cities affected by the typhoon.
When to Use Dispersement
Dispersement is a misspelling of the word “disbursement.” This is caused by the confusion with the words dispersion and dispersal. While it may look like the proper noun form of disperse is dispersement, this is wrong and it’s not the same as disburse and disbursement. Hence, never use dispersement since this is incorrect and is never acceptable. Use dispersal instead of dispersement when referring to the noun form of the verb “disperse.”
In the following sample sentences, always use disbursement, not dispersement, when referring to paying out money.
✖ The nonprofit groups didn’t wander their thoughts from the state government’s dispursement aid. (incorrect)
✅The nonprofit groups didn’t wander their thoughts from the state government’s disbursement aid. (correct)
✖ The company’s finance department has the ability to handle the dispersement program to ensure that all the company’s financial obligations are paid. (incorrect)
✅ The company’s finance department has the ability to handle the disbursement program to ensure that all the company’s financial obligations are paid.(correct)
✖ There was incorrect information regarding the dispersement of the foundation’s funds to select research centers. (incorrect)
✅ There was incorrect information regarding the disbursement of the foundation’s funds to select research centers. (correct)
Disbursement vs. Dispersement: Which One is Correct?
There’s a difference between disbursement and dispersement, and this difference is crucial in the English language. Disbursement is a correct word and a noun referring to an act of paying out money while dispersement is a wrong word (misspelling of the word “disbursement”). Hence, always use disbursement and never use dispersement. Also, opt for dispersal if referring to the noun form of the verb “disperse.”
Cambridge Dictionary. (n.d.) Disbursement. In https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/ dictionary. Retrieved from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/disbursement
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online. (n.d.). Disbursement. In https://www.ldoceonline.com/ dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/disbursement
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Disbursement. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disbursement