verb (used with object), de·seg·re·gat·ed, de·seg·re·gat·ing.

to eliminate racial segregation in: to desegregate all schools.

verb (used without object), de·seg·re·gat·ed, de·seg·re·gat·ing.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for desegregate

integrate, commingle, unify, open

Examples from the Web for desegregate

Contemporary Examples of desegregate

  • In 1962, the Kennedy administration was looking for a way to desegregate the Washington Redskins.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Presidents Who Made America’s Sports

    Evan Weiner

    February 17, 2014

  • Attempting to desegregate Dar Ul Hijra, known in law enforcement circles as “the 9/11 mosque,” is significant.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Showdown at the Mosque

    Asra Q. Nomani

    May 17, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for desegregate



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