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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Even if this complicated and unlikely three-team deal disintegrates, the Celtics’ impending agreement with Walker means that Rozier’s time in Boston has almost certainly come to an end. Adam Himmelsbach, BostonGlobe.com, "Could the door open for Al Horford to come back to Celtics?," 30 June 2019 The hearings were broadcast on national TV and showed the testimony of some witnesses disintegrating under questioning from the panel of judges. Washington Post, "Widodo seals 2nd term as Indonesia leader after court battle," 28 June 2019 Around that time, the avid Trump supporter saw a decades-long friendship disintegrate over a political spat. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Don’t get divorced because of Trump. The tough work of settling America’s political differences," 11 June 2019 The power of the thong disintegrated with the invention of the seamless brief. Shira Feder, Vox, "The rise of granny panties," 5 June 2019 That means that half our heroes disintegrated and disappeared. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Here's What Happens in the Ant-Man and the Wasp Post-Credits Scenes," 6 July 2018 With a national election looming, President Johnson scrambled to project confidence and control over a disintegrating situation. Vanessa Bee, Daily Intelligencer, "How We Can Get a More Equal Union," 27 Mar. 2018 The Wildcats casually got better and took care of business the rest of its non-conference slate (beating Texas A&M, Alabama and UNLV among others), but by then the idea of this team having national title potential had completely disintegrated. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Out front in the Pac-12 on its own now, can we start believing in Arizona again?," 20 Jan. 2018 That streak ended in 2003, when the shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentry, killing all seven crew members. Margaret Lazarus Dean, Popular Mechanics, "The Oral History of the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster," 28 Jan. 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.

See More

First Known Use of disintegrate

1796, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about disintegrate

Statistics for disintegrate

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disintegrate

The first known use of disintegrate was in 1796

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on disintegrate

What made you want to look up disintegrate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!