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[dih-soh-see-ey-shuh n, -shee-ey-] /dɪˌsoʊ siˈeɪ ʃən, -ʃiˈeɪ-/
an act or instance of dissociating.
the state of being dissociated; disjunction; separation:
the dissociation of church and state.
Physical Chemistry.
  1. the reversible resolution or decomposition of a complex substance into simpler constituents caused by variation in physical conditions, as when water gradually decomposes into hydrogen and oxygen under great heat in such a way that when the temperature is lowered the liberated elements recombine.
  2. electrolytic dissociation.
Psychiatry. the splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia or certain forms of hysteria.
Origin of dissociation
1605-15; dis-1 + (as)sociation, modeled on Latin dissociātiō separation
Related forms
self-dissociation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for dissociation


/dɪˌsəʊsɪˈeɪʃən; -ʃɪ-/
the act of dissociating or the state of being dissociated
  1. a reversible chemical change of the molecules of a single compound into two or more other molecules, atoms, ions, or radicals
  2. any decomposition of the molecules of a single compound into two or more other compounds, atoms, ions, or radicals
separation of molecules or atoms that occurs when a liquid or solid changes to a gas
(psychiatry) the separation of a group of mental processes or ideas from the rest of the personality, so that they lead an independent existence, as in cases of multiple personality
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 dissociation

1610s, from French dissociation, from Latin dissociationem (nominative dissociatio), noun of action from past participle stem of dissociare (see dissociate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dissociation in Medicine

dissociation dis·so·ci·a·tion (dĭ-sō'sē-ā'shən, -shē-)

  1. The chemical process by which the action of a solvent or a change in physical condition, as in pressure or temperature, causes a molecule to split into simpler groups of atoms, single atoms, or ions.

  2. The separation of an electrolyte into ions of opposite charge.

  3. Separation of a group of related psychological activities into autonomously functioning units, as in the generation of multiple personalities.

dis·so'ci·ate' v.
dis·so'ci·a'tive adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dissociation in Science
The separation of a substance into two or more simpler substances, or of a molecule into atoms or ions, by the action of heat or a chemical process. Dissociation is usually reversible.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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