disintegration

noun

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

Word History

First Known Use

1794, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of disintegration was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near disintegration

Cite this Entry

“Disintegration.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disintegration. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

disintegration

noun

dis·​in·​te·​gra·​tion
(ˌ)dis-ˌint-ə-ˈgrā-shən
: the act or process of disintegrating : the state of being disintegrated
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ