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verb (used with object), de·seg·re·gat·ed, de·seg·re·gat·ing.
  1. to eliminate racial segregation in: to desegregate all schools.
verb (used without object), de·seg·re·gat·ed, de·seg·re·gat·ing.
  1. to eliminate racial segregation; to integrate at an institutional level members of different communities without regard to skin color.

Origin of desegregate

First recorded in 1950–55; de- + segregate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for desegregate


  1. to end racial segregation in (a school or other public institution)
Derived Formsdesegregation, noundesegregationist, noun, adjective
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 desegregate


1948, back-formation from desegregation. Related: Desegregated; desegregating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper