atomize

[at-uh-mahyz]
verb (used with object), atomized, atomizing.
1.
to reduce to atoms.
2.
to reduce to fine particles or spray.
3.
to destroy (a target) by bombing, especially with an atomic bomb.
verb (used without object), atomized, atomizing.
4.
to split into many sections, groups, factions, etc.; fragmentize: Critics say the group has atomized around several leaders.
Also, especially British, atomise.


Origin:
1670–80; atom + -ize

atomization, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
atomize or atomise (ˈætəˌmaɪz)
 
vb
1.  to separate or be separated into free atoms
2.  to reduce (a liquid or solid) to fine particles or spray or (of a liquid or solid) to be reduced in this way
3.  (tr) to destroy by weapons, esp nuclear weapons
 
atomise or atomise
 
vb
 
atomi'zation or atomise
 
n
 
atomi'sation or atomise
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

atomize
"reduce a liquid to a very fine mist," 1865, verb formed from atom + -ize. Originally in ref. to medical treatment for injured or diseased lungs; sense of "to destroy with atomic weapons" is from 1945. Related: Atomizer (1865); atomization (1866).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Inattention to public matters is perhaps the simplest of these, atomization of
  society one of the more intricate.
Presumably, this atomization sends ripples up and down the river of social life.
The same professional atomization afflicts the social sciences and the
  humanities.
Its atomization benefits only the small and medium investors, but the issuers.
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