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

But as the first half wore on, those transitions did begin to develop and Roma disintegrated. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Salah, Liverpool Overwhelm Roma, But Leave Door Open for Another UCL Comeback," 24 Apr. 2018 William Elsman, as Macbeth, and Atim Udoffia, as Lady Macbeth, are captivating and often painful to watch as their grasp on reality slowly disintegrates. Mitchel Benson, sacbee, "STC's 'Macbeth' pays proper tribute to the tragedy of murder and madness," 28 Feb. 2018 Yoshino blossoms tend to break apart into individual petals rather quickly, which blow away and disintegrate into the ground. Kevin Ambrose, Washington Post, "Kwanzan cherry trees are exploding in pink — but they are such a mess," 7 May 2018 Khan, however, warned that a withdrawal of troops without an agreement that recognizes Afghanistan’s stakeholders risks disintegrating into violence. Kathy Gannon, The Seattle Times, "Powerful political leader warns against squandering peace," 20 Feb. 2019 People ruin communities by adding rules to them, and punk could disintegrate into a conformist list of rules that were punk and not punk. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, "John Cameron Mitchell on Directing His Wild Sci-Fi Punk Opus 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties'," 30 May 2018 The protesters stood outside the International Boulevard entrance holding signs, some of which disintegrated in the rain, and chanted as passing drivers honked in support. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Federal employees rally outside Sea-Tac Airport to push for end of shutdown," 22 Jan. 2019 The video ends with Lonsdale disintegrating, while a glowing rainbow heart remains behind. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Keiynan Lonsdale Embraces the Light & Dark of Himself in New Video for 'Preach': Watch," 29 June 2018 Cease-fires intermittently take hold but always disintegrate over time. David L. Stern, Washington Post, "War in eastern Ukraine now seems a distant storm to Kiev," 26 June 2018

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

3 May 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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