dis·​in·​te·​gra·​tion | \ (ˌ)dis-ˌin-tə-ˈgrā-shən How to pronounce disintegration (audio) \
plural disintegrations

Definition of disintegration

: the act or process of disintegrating or the state of being disintegrated: such as
a : the breaking down of something into small particles or into its constituent elements Some glaciers have been destabilized by warmer ocean waters. Scientists fear that parts of the ice sheet may be in the early stages of an unstoppable disintegration.— Justin Gillis But miraculously, officials say, the countless bits of debris from the disintegration of the space shuttle Columbia injured not a soul on the ground.The New York Times
b : loss of unity or integrity by or as if by breaking into parts Declining sales led to the company's gradual disintegration and ultimate demise. What's more, the fear of many conservatives that we might be at the mercy of unstoppable forces of social disintegration turned out to be wrong.— William Kristol Over the long run, however, there is no substitute for addressing the root causes of crime—bad education and lack of job opportunities and the disintegration of families.— Daniel D. Polsby

First Known Use of disintegration

1794, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of disintegration was in 1794

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Cite this Entry

“Disintegration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disintegration. Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for disintegration


dis·​in·​te·​gra·​tion | \ dis-ˌin-tə-ˈgrā-shən \

Kids Definition of disintegration

: the act or process of breaking into small pieces : the condition of being broken into small pieces


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