Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

disintegrate

[dis-in-tuh-greyt]
See more synonyms for disintegrate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), dis·in·te·grat·ed, dis·in·te·grat·ing.
  1. to separate into parts or lose intactness or solidness; break up; deteriorate: The old book is gradually disintegrating with age.
  2. Physics.
    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.
Show More
verb (used with object), dis·in·te·grat·ed, dis·in·te·grat·ing.
  1. to reduce to particles, fragments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohesion of: Rocks are disintegrated by frost and rain.
Show More

Origin of disintegrate

First recorded in 1790–1800; dis-1 + integrate
Related formsdis·in·te·gra·ble [dis-in-tuh-gruh-buh l] /dɪsˈɪn tə grə bəl/, adjectivedis·in·te·gra·tive, dis·in·te·gra·to·ry [dis-in-tuh-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -grey-tuh-ree] /dɪsˈɪn tə grəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -ˌgreɪ tə ri/, adjectivedis·in·te·gra·tor, nounnon·dis·in·te·grat·ing, adjective

Synonym study

1, 3. See decay.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for disintegrate

disintegrate

verb
  1. to break or be broken into fragments or constituent parts; shatter
  2. to lose or cause to lose cohesion or unity
  3. (intr) to lose judgment or control; deteriorate
  4. physics
    1. to induce or undergo nuclear fission, as by bombardment with fast particles
    2. another word for decay (def. 3)
Show More
Derived Formsdisintegrable, adjectivedisintegration, noundisintegrative, adjectivedisintegrator, 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

Word Origin and History for disintegrate

v.

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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper