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[dis-in-tuh-greyt] /dɪsˈɪn təˌgreɪt/
verb (used without object), disintegrated, disintegrating.
to separate into parts or lose intactness or solidness; break up; deteriorate:
The old book is gradually disintegrating with age.
  1. to decay.
  2. (of a nucleus) to change into one or more different nuclei after being bombarded by high-energy particles, as alpha particles or gamma rays.
verb (used with object), disintegrated, disintegrating.
to reduce to particles, fragments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohesion of:
Rocks are disintegrated by frost and rain.
Origin of disintegrate
First recorded in 1790-1800; dis-1 + integrate
Related forms
[dis-in-tuh-gruh-buh l] /dɪsˈɪn tə grə bəl/ (Show IPA),
disintegrative, disintegratory
[dis-in-tuh-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -grey-tuh-ree] /dɪsˈɪn tə grəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -ˌgreɪ tə ri/ (Show IPA),
disintegrator, noun
nondisintegrating, adjective
Synonym Study
1, 3. See decay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for disintegrate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That is the point at which families innumerable have begun to disintegrate.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • They didn't just disintegrate when peace broke out, that was for sure.

    The Cosmic Computer Henry Beam Piper
  • When I die my cherished soul will disintegrate into nothing.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • Cal wondered whether the orders to disintegrate had been a bluff.

    Eight Keys to Eden Mark Irvin Clifton
  • About the time a man begins to vote, he begins to disintegrate.

    Penguin Persons & Peppermints Walter Prichard Eaton
British Dictionary definitions for disintegrate


to break or be broken into fragments or constituent parts; shatter
to lose or cause to lose cohesion or unity
(intransitive) to lose judgment or control; deteriorate
  1. to induce or undergo nuclear fission, as by bombardment with fast particles
  2. another word for decay (sense 3)
Derived Forms
disintegrable, adjective
disintegration, noun
disintegrative, adjective
disintegrator, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for disintegrate

1796, from dis- "do the opposite of" + integrate (v.). Related: Disintegrated; disintegrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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