disintegrate

verb
dis·​in·​te·​grate | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈin-tə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce disintegrate (audio) \
disintegrated; disintegrating; disintegrates

Definition of disintegrate

transitive verb

1 : to break or decompose into constituent elements, parts, or small particles water disintegrates the limestone
2 : to destroy the unity or integrity (see integrity sense 3) of The lies disintegrated their marriage.

intransitive verb

1 : to break or separate into constituent elements or parts The iron hinges were disintegrateing into dust.
2 : to lose unity or integrity by or as if by breaking into parts The relationship started to disintegrate.
3 : to undergo a change in composition (see composition sense 2) an atomic nucleus that disintegrates because of radioactivity

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Other Words from disintegrate

disintegrative \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈin-​tə-​ˌgrā-​tiv How to pronounce disintegrative (audio) \ adjective
disintegrator \ (ˌ)dis-​ˈin-​tə-​ˌgrā-​tər How to pronounce disintegrator (audio) \ noun

Examples of disintegrate in a Sentence

The paper will disintegrate if it gets wet. The laser can disintegrate most kinds of rock.

Recent Examples on the Web

By the time they were grilled hard enough to hold the load without disintegrating, the doughnuts just became greasy hobo blankets. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Lucy Cooper’s Ice House at the top of San Antonio’s bar food scene," 12 Sep. 2019 One species, the microbe Geogemma barossii, can live at temperatures of 250 degrees Fahrenheit — well above the boiling point of water and close to the theoretical limit at which vital organic molecules start to disintegrate. NBC News, "Strange life-forms found deep in a mine point to vast 'underground Galapagos'," 7 Sep. 2019 The toxin is released when the bacteria die and disintegrate, attacking the tumor. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From rock/paper/scissors to new cancer-fighting concept from UCSD scientists," 6 Sep. 2019 The shuttle program would fly 87 more missions until the STS-107 disaster when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated on its return to Earth in 2003. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Space Shuttle Discovery launched for the first time on this day," 30 Aug. 2019 In the wake of Rob’s death, Dr. Ashton had a decision to make: disintegrate into a ball of anger and grief or step into the light of hope and love. Womansday.com Staff, Woman's Day, "Dr. Jennifer Ashton Shares How She Coped After Her Husband's Suicide," 25 Aug. 2019 My dog died, my family disintegrated and my mom had a stroke. Nick Maslow, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Dances to Lizzo to Celebrate Paying Off $222K in Student Loans — and Reveals How She Did It," 20 Aug. 2019 When permafrost disintegrates, buried ice melts too. Katie Orlinsky, National Geographic, "Arctic permafrost is thawing fast. That affects us all.," 16 Aug. 2019 Butler’s 2017 recruiting class was once near the top 10 but disintegrated and fell to 62nd. Kyle Young and Cooper Neese never played a game for Butler, and Jerald Gillens-Butler transferred after two seasons. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Latest commit puts Butler on path to its highest-rated recruiting class ever," 5 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disintegrate.' 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 disintegrate

1796, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for disintegrate

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disintegrate

The first known use of disintegrate was in 1796

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More Definitions for disintegrate

disintegrate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of disintegrate

: to break apart into many small parts or pieces

disintegrate

verb
dis·​in·​te·​grate | \ dis-ˈin-tə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce disintegrate (audio) \
disintegrated; disintegrating

Kids Definition of disintegrate

: to separate or break up into small parts or pieces

disintegrate

verb
dis·​in·​te·​grate | \ (ˈ)dis-ˈint-ə-ˌgrāt How to pronounce disintegrate (audio) \
disintegrated; disintegrating

Medical Definition of disintegrate

transitive verb

: to break or decompose into constituent elements, parts, or small particles

intransitive verb

1 : to break or separate into constituent elements or parts
2 : to undergo a change in composition an atomic nucleus that disintegrates because of radioactivity

Other Words from disintegrate

disintegration \ (ˌ)dis-​ˌint-​ə-​ˈgrā-​shən How to pronounce disintegration (audio) \ noun

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Comments on disintegrate

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