disintegrate

[ dis-in-tuh-greyt ]
/ dɪsˈɪn təˌgreɪt /

verb (used without object), dis·in·te·grat·ed, dis·in·te·grat·ing.

to separate into parts or lose intactness or solidness; break up; deteriorate: The old book is gradually disintegrating with age.
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.

verb (used with object), dis·in·te·grat·ed, dis·in·te·grat·ing.

to reduce to particles, fragments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohesion of: Rocks are disintegrated by frost and rain.

Nearby words

  1. disingenuous,
  2. disinherit,
  3. disinhibition,
  4. disinhume,
  5. disinsertion,
  6. disintegration,
  7. disintegration constant,
  8. disinter,
  9. disinterest,
  10. disinterested

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for disintegrate


British Dictionary definitions for disintegrate

disintegrate

/ (dɪsˈɪntɪˌɡreɪt) /

verb

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

disintegrate

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper