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[dis-in-tuh-greyt] /dɪsˈɪn təˌgreɪt/
verb (used without object), disintegrated, disintegrating.
to separate into parts or lose intactness or solidness; break up; deteriorate:
The old book is gradually disintegrating with age.
  1. to decay.
  2. (of a nucleus) to change into one or more different nuclei after being bombarded by high-energy particles, as alpha particles or gamma rays.
verb (used with object), disintegrated, disintegrating.
to reduce to particles, fragments, or parts; break up or destroy the cohesion of:
Rocks are disintegrated by frost and rain.
Origin of disintegrate
1790-1800; dis-1 + integrate
Related forms
[dis-in-tuh-gruh-buh l] /dɪsˈɪn tə grə bəl/ (Show IPA),
disintegrative, disintegratory
[dis-in-tuh-gruh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, -grey-tuh-ree] /dɪsˈɪn tə grəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, -ˌgreɪ tə ri/ (Show IPA),
disintegrator, noun
nondisintegrating, adjective
1, 3. See decay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disintegrate
  • Before these images, all words disintegrate and fall lifeless into the ashes.
  • The water should cloud, and some of the split peas will be intact while others will disintegrate.
  • Add the curry sauce and continue to cook rapidly, taking care that the watermelon does not disintegrate.
  • With no incentive to spend on upkeep, landlords let buildings disintegrate.
  • Plastic bottles take many hundreds of years to disintegrate.
  • Although tests have revealed an aircraft would disintegrate on colliding with the outer containment structure.
  • Experts were able to retrieve the artifact before it began to disintegrate.
  • It grew more brittle still, and has subsequently lost its head and begun to disintegrate.
  • Human bones can shatter in accidents, or they can disintegrate when ravaged by disease and time.
  • Some disintegrate in tears as they try to tell their stories.
British Dictionary definitions for disintegrate


to break or be broken into fragments or constituent parts; shatter
to lose or cause to lose cohesion or unity
(intransitive) to lose judgment or control; deteriorate
  1. to induce or undergo nuclear fission, as by bombardment with fast particles
  2. another word for decay (sense 3)
Derived Forms
disintegrable, adjective
disintegration, noun
disintegrative, adjective
disintegrator, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disintegrate

1796, from dis- "do the opposite of" + integrate (v.). Related: Disintegrated; disintegrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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