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

Synonyms for disintegrate

Synonyms

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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 The Taliban's tactics are designed to strike fear into Afghan hearts, weaken the army's morale, and cripple and ultimately disintegrate the power of the state. Nic Robertson, CNN, 24 June 2021 Many observers expected the regime to disintegrate in the 1990s when the Soviet collapse left the island politically isolated and cut off from the subsidies that had kept its struggling economy afloat. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 12 July 2021 Preservation experts are working to save the Alamo’s iconic mission-era church as its walls disintegrate. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 31 May 2021 Worse, biodegradable plastics, designed to disintegrate, are increasingly common. Sam Kean, Science | AAAS, 2 July 2021 This process causes the rock to slowly disintegrate. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, 14 May 2021 The result is a sonic howl — part glam rock, part orchestral, part punk, with driving, industrial songs that are liable to disintegrate or tear off into a different direction. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, 10 June 2021 Her mother, Mary Jane Abt-Fagan, said Adeline's N95 had been reused so many times the fibers were beginning to disintegrate. Jane Spencer, The Guardian, And Christina Jewett, CNN, 7 Apr. 2021 Monitoring what continues to shift, disintegrate, and react within the Chernobyl complex remains a full-time job for some of the world’s greatest minds. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 10 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for disintegrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of disintegrate was in 1796

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Dictionary Entries Near disintegrate

disintegrable

disintegrate

disintegration

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Cite this Entry

“Disintegrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disintegrate. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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 disintegrate (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on disintegrate

Nglish: Translation of disintegrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disintegrate for Arabic Speakers

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