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1. The act or process of disintegrating.
2. The state of being disintegrated.
3. The natural or induced transformation of an atomic nucleus from a more massive to a less massive configuration by the emission of particles or radiation.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. (Shirley’s childless marriage had) become unstuck like a piece of old and grubby sticking plaster —Gillian Tindall
  2. Blown aside like thistledown —John Fowles

    Fowles used this simile once to describe the eventual collapse of a political party and another time to describe a mood. Some similes obviously transfer to different points of reference more easily than others.

  3. Broke like a sea-bubble on the sand —James Montgomery
  4. (Perhaps the hope will die stillborn,) broken up like wreckage by the tides of events —Lawrence Durrell
  5. Come apart like wet kleenex —Anon
  6. (When I hit him he) comes apart like a perfect puzzle or an old flower —Philip Levine
  7. Comes apart like meat being carved —G. K. Chesterton
  8. (He started) coming apart like seedpod —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  9. Cracking and fading like an old photograph —George Garrett
  10. Crumbled like crackers into alphabet soup —Dave Anderson, New York Times/Sports of the Times, November 24, 1986

    The comparison referred to disintegration of a once great heavyweight champion division.

  11. Crumble like old cheese —Anon
  12. Crumble like soda crackers —Dashiell Hammett
  13. (Their argument) crumbles like dry rice paper —Nicholas Proffitt
  14. (The old voice) crumpled … like a fragile leaf —Lawrence Durrell
  15. Crumple … like a leaf in the fire —James Joyce
  16. Crumple up like wet and falling roses —D. H. Lawrence
  17. (The house was) old and decayed like the pitted trunk of a persimmon —Yasunari Kawabata
  18. Disintegrate like a bubble at a touch —Anon
  19. Disintegrate like a crumbling monument —Anon
  20. (Words came to my lips and) dissipated like the wisps of children’s breaths in the cold air outside —Kent Nelson
  21. Dissolved and grew flimsy like the world after champagne —Graham Swift
  22. [A committee] dissolved like a summer cloud —Edith Wharton
  23. Dissolved like spit in the wind —Wallace Stevens
  24. Dissolve like vague promises —Elyse Sommer
  25. (Floats on water) dissolving like a paper plate —Margaret Atwood
  26. (The white sky) empties of its promise, like a cup —Sylvia Plath
  27. (The shadows under the trees and bushes) evaporated like puddles after a shower —Stephen King
  28. Evaporated like a drop of dew —Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  29. Evaporate … like hoar frost before the morning sun —W. Somerset Maugham

    Maugham’s simile from The Summing Up refers to the way changing tastes affect perceptions of an art work’s beauty.

  30. Fall apart and scatter like a smashed string of beads —Yaakov Churgin
  31. Falling into decay like a layer of mulch —Jean Thompson
  32. (Furniture) falling to pieces like dry fruitcake —William H. Gass
  33. Fizzles out like a wet firecracker —John Wainwright
  34. Goes up in smoke like so much tissue paper —Elizabeth Spencer
  35. Go sour [as a project] like milk abandoned in the far corner of the refrigerator —Marian Sturm
  36. Melt away like salt in water —Sholom Aleichem
  37. Melt away like Turkish delights —Frank O’Hara
  38. Melted away like a snail —Elizabeth Spencer
  39. [Members of a social set] melted away, like snow drops over a bonfire —Ayn Rand
  40. Melted [in response to compliments] like butter on the Sahara —Tony Ardizzone
  41. Melted like wax —The Holy Bible
  42. (The day is) melting away like snow —Plautus

    This has been used in poetry and daily language since 200 B.C., and is still going strong.

  43. Melts away like moonlight in the heaven of spreading day —Percy Bysshe Shelley
  44. (Your mind now) moldering like a wedding-cake —Adrienne Rich
  45. Rot and shred and peel away like old wallpaper —George Garrett
  46. [Resolutions] thinned away like smoke, into nothingness —Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), The Gioconda Smile, Harper and Brothers: New York, 1921
  47. Rotted through like old shoe leather —Marge Piercy
  48. Rotting like autumn leaves —Marguerite Yourcenar
  49. Shredded away like leaf tobacco —Saul Bellow
  50. (The snake slides again and again until all passed is left behind to) shrivel like a ghost without substance —Daniela Gioseffi
  51. (The remembrance had been brought to mind so often that it was) tarnished and dull, like a trinket not worth looking at —Beryl Markham
  52. (Her muscles came) undone like ribbons —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  53. Wear out like a worn battery —Anon

    This makes a good update for “Wears out like a run-down gramophone record.”

  54. Went to pieces like a cheap umbrella in a gale —Anon

    This is updated from the original “Like a fifty cent umbrella,” something today only obtainable at a rummage sale.

  55. Will dissolve faster than an Alka-Seltzer under a waterfall —Barry Farber, WNYC radio, commenting on the endurance of communism.
  56. Wither like the flower of the field —Miguel de Cervante
  57. Withered like grass —The Holy Bible/Psalms
  58. Wither like a blighted tree —Barbara Howes
  59. Withers like the face of an aged woman —Beryl Markham
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.disintegration - in a decomposed state
fragmentation - the disintegration of social norms governing behavior and thought and social relationships
decay - an inferior state resulting from the process of decaying; "the corpse was in an advanced state of decay"; "the house had fallen into a serious state of decay and disrepair"
2.disintegration - a loss (or serious disruption) of organization in some system; "a disintegration of personality"
disability, disablement, handicap, impairment - the condition of being unable to perform as a consequence of physical or mental unfitness; "reading disability"; "hearing impairment"
3.disintegration - separation into component parts
fibrinolysis - a normal ongoing process that dissolves fibrin and results in the removal of small blood clots; "drugs causing fibrinolysis have been utilized therapeutically"
lysis - (biochemistry) dissolution or destruction of cells such as blood cells or bacteria
natural action, natural process, action, activity - a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings); "the action of natural forces"; "volcanic activity"
4.disintegration - the spontaneous disintegration of a radioactive substance along with the emission of ionizing radiation
alpha decay - radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus that is accompanied by the emission of an alpha particle
beta decay - radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus that is accompanied by the emission of a beta particle
nuclear reaction - (physics) a process that alters the energy or structure or composition of atomic nuclei
5.disintegration - total destructiondisintegration - total destruction; "bomb tests resulted in the annihilation of the atoll"
extermination, extinction - complete annihilation; "they think a meteor cause the extinction of the dinosaurs"
demolition, wipeout, destruction - an event (or the result of an event) that completely destroys something
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
تَفْكيك، تَفَسُّخ
tæring, eyîing
parçala ma


[dɪsˌɪntɪˈgreɪʃən] Ndesintegración f
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[dɪsˌɪntɪˈgreɪʃən] n
[object] → désintégration f; [substance] → désagrégation f
[relationship, marriage, nation] → désagrégation f
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


nZerfall m; (of rock, cement)Auseinanderbröckeln nt; (of road surface)Rissigkeit f; (of group, institution, family)Auflösung f; (of marriage, society, theory)Zusammenbruch m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[dɪsˌɪntɪˈgreɪʃn] n (see vb) → disintegrazione f, disgregamento
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(disˈintigreit) verb
to (cause to) fall to pieces. The paper bag was so wet that the bottom disintegrated and all the groceries fell out.
disˌinteˈgration noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


n. desintegración, descomposición, separación.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
In consequence again of those accursed laws of consciousness, anger in me is subject to chemical disintegration. You look into it, the object flies off into air, your reasons evaporate, the criminal is not to be found, the wrong becomes not a wrong but a phantom, something like the toothache, for which no one is to blame, and consequently there is only the same outlet left again--that is, to beat the wall as hard as you can.
The place breathed the very atmosphere of decay and death, and the imbecile ancient, curing in the smoke the token of death, was himself palsiedly shaking into the disintegration of the grave.
Hardness is predicated of a thing because it has that capacity of resistance which enables it to withstand disintegration; softness, again, is predicated of a thing by reason of the lack of that capacity.
It was one of the few homesteads that remained still undivided, but even here the dull internal work of disintegration which would inevitably lead to separation had already begun, starting as usual among the women.
Then followed a period of vehement and passionate conflict against disintegration; everywhere the struggle to keep order and to keep fighting went on.
Archer could hear Lawrence Lefferts, at that very hour, holding forth on the disintegration of society.
The scattered boulders that had fallen from above and lay upon or partly buried in the turf, were the only indication that any disintegration of the massive, towering pile of rocks ever had taken place.
Of these plans he had not merely one or two in his head but dozens, some only beginning to form themselves, some approaching achievement, and some in course of disintegration. He did not, for instance, say to himself: "This man now has influence, I must gain his confidence and friendship and through him obtain a special grant." Nor did he say to himself: "Pierre is a rich man, I must entice him to marry my daughter and lend me the forty thousand rubles I need." But when he came across came across a man of position his instinct immediately told him that this man could be useful, and without any premeditation Prince Vasili took the first opportunity to gain his confidence, flatter him, become intimate with him, and finally make his request.
I have sometimes thought, that the earth and fragments of stone on the surface, were perhaps less effectually removed by slowly percolating snow-water [2] than by rain, and therefore that the appearance of a quicker disintegration of the solid rock under the snow, was deceptive.
"Yet they were powerful, and it appears that when death comes they force practically instantaneous disintegration. Remarkable!
Half our battle would be won then; the disintegration of the old morality would have set in in its very temple.
It still has all the suitability of ordinary paracetamol but differs with its fast-dissolving action that is due to an advanced disintegration system called Optizorb.