1610s, from French intégration and directly from Latin integrationem (nominative integratio) "renewal, restoration," noun of action from past participle stem of integrare (see integrate). Anti-discrimination sense is recorded from 1940 in a S.African context.
integration in·te·gra·tion (ĭn'tĭ-grā'shən)
The state of combination or the process of combining into completeness and harmony.
The organization of the psychological or social traits and tendencies of a personality into a harmonious whole.
A physiological increase or building up, as by accretion or anabolism.
A recombination event in which a genetic element is inserted.
In calculus, the process of calculating an integral. Integration is the inverse of differentiation, since integrating a given function results in a function whose derivative is the given function. Integration is used in the calculation of such things as the areas and volumes of irregular shapes and solids. Compare differentiation.
The free association of people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds (see ethnicity); a goal of the civil rights movement to overcome policies of segregation that have been practiced in the United States.
Note: Those favoring integration of schools by such forceful means as busing or affirmative action have frequently argued that integration of schools will lead to integration of society as a whole. (See separate but equal.)