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 Word filtered back to the White House that Nixon’s support among Southern Democrats had disintegrated. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "What House Republicans Can Learn from the Bipartisan Effort to Impeach Nixon," 7 Nov. 2019 The other 25 percent, not so much.’’ The same, of course, can be said about the Astros’ evening, watching a close game against the Washington Nationals disintegrate into utter embarrassment, resulting in a 12-3 loss. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "'We’ll be fine': Astros confident in World Series comeback against Nationals," 24 Oct. 2019 Their week began with a 13-hour flight during which relations between the NBA and China disintegrated from the fallout over a tweet sent by Houston Rockets general mangaer Daryl Morey that supported Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. Tania Ganguli, Los Angeles Times, "Lakers end China trip with loss and injury to Anthony Davis," 12 Oct. 2019 By the following day, the discussions disintegrated into disagreement, with diplomats bickering over Trump’s intention and the strategy. Eric Tucker, San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘I think it’s crazy’: Takeaways of diplomats’ text messages," 4 Oct. 2019 By the following day, the discussions disintegrated into disagreement, with diplomats bickering over Trump’s intention and the strategy. Eric Tucker, Twin Cities, "‘I think it’s crazy’: Takeaways of diplomats’ text messages," 4 Oct. 2019 Last season disintegrated because of really bad defense. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Zergiotis struggles, Krajewski gets the call and UConn’s quarterback situation is a mess," 29 Sep. 2019 Launched in 1997 and deliberately disintegrated on Saturn in 2017, Cassini traveled almost five billion miles, involved 27 nations and cost a minimum of $3.9 billion. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "SwRI researcher: Saturn’s rings are still billions of years old," 18 Sep. 2019 The disadvantage is that sooner or later, the Afghan government would disintegrate and the Taliban would take over. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, "Column: How Trump should deal with Afghanistan, the Taliban and an unwinnable war," 13 Sep. 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

15 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for disintegrate

The first known use of disintegrate was in 1796

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More Definitions for disintegrate

disintegrate

verb
How to pronounce disintegrate (audio)

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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