[ dis-in-tuh-greyt ]

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.

    • to decay.

    • (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.
  1. 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

synonym study For disintegrate

1, 3. See decay.

Other words from disintegrate

  • dis·in·te·gra·ble [dis-in-tuh-gruh-buhl], /dɪsˈɪn tə grə bəl/, adjective
  • dis·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/, adjective
  • dis·in·te·gra·tor, noun
  • non·dis·in·te·grat·ing, adjective

Words Nearby disintegrate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use disintegrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for disintegrate


/ (dɪsˈɪntɪˌɡreɪt) /

  1. to break or be broken into fragments or constituent parts; shatter

  2. to lose or cause to lose cohesion or unity

  1. (intr) to lose judgment or control; deteriorate

  2. physics

    • to induce or undergo nuclear fission, as by bombardment with fast particles

    • another word for decay (def. 3)

Derived forms of disintegrate

  • 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