de·​seg·​re·​gate | \ (ˌ)dē-ˈse-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce desegregate (audio) \
desegregated; desegregating; desegregates

Definition of desegregate

transitive verb

: to eliminate segregation in specifically : to free of any law, provision, or practice requiring isolation of the members of a particular race in separate units

Examples of desegregate in a Sentence

efforts to desegregate the town's buses Eventually the city's schools desegregated.

Recent Examples on the Web

Kamala Harris slammed Biden during the first debates, blasting the segregationist comment and criticizing his opposition to federal busing orders to desegregate public schools during the same era. Time, "Joe Biden Draws Line Against Progressives on Health Care With New Proposal," 15 July 2019 Spencer, who led the battle to desegregate Coney Island's swimming pools in the 1950s and became the first African-American woman elected to Cincinnati City Council in 1983, died Tuesday. Mark Curnutte,, "Marian Spencer, a segregation fighter who later served on City Council, dead at age 99," 10 July 2019 Harris noted Biden opposed federal measures to ensure that local jurisdictions used busing to desegregate public schools during the 1970s, saying the position was personally painful for her. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, "Gabbard says Harris hatched "political ploy" to "smear" Biden on race," 8 July 2019 Seattle was never under a court order to desegregate; Louisville's court order was dissolved. Howard Blume,, "School busing and race tore L.A. apart in the 1970s. Now, Kamala Harris is reviving debate," 28 June 2019 Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months., "/northriverprograms or 781-837-9400. The North River Sanctuary is located at 2000 Main St.," 12 Sep. 2019 The recent school integration debate focuses more heavily on the battle between public and charter schools and on efforts to desegregate communities as a whole. NBC News, "Busing becomes focal point of Democratic primary after Biden-Harris debate exchange," 30 June 2019 The community also came to be considered the cradle of Houston’s civil rights movement because of young people’s move to desegregate a lunch counter there in 1960. Melanie Eversley, Fortune, "Houston Hopes Thursday’s Democratic Debate at Historic Black University Drives Conversation," 10 Sep. 2019 The news about the possible closing surfaced in federal court today, during a hearing about the city’s efforts to desegregate the city school system. Anna Claire Vollers |, al, "Huntsville tells federal judge of plan to tear down more public housing," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'desegregate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of desegregate

1949, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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Statistics for desegregate

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for desegregate

The first known use of desegregate was in 1949

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More Definitions for desegregate



English Language Learners Definition of desegregate

: to end a policy that keeps people of different races apart : to end a policy of segregation


de·​seg·​re·​gate | \ dē-ˈse-gri-ˌgāt How to pronounce desegregate (audio) \
desegregated; desegregating

Kids Definition of desegregate

: to end by law the separation of members of different races desegregate schools


transitive verb
de·​seg·​re·​gate | \ dē-ˈse-grə-ˌgāt How to pronounce desegregate (audio) \
desegregated; desegregating

Legal Definition of desegregate

: to eliminate segregation in specifically : to free from any law, provision, or practice requiring isolation of the members of a particular race in separate units

intransitive verb

: to become desegregated

More from Merriam-Webster on desegregate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with desegregate

Spanish Central: Translation of desegregate

Nglish: Translation of desegregate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on desegregate

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a topic to which one constantly reverts

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