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See Also: DESTRUCTION
- (Shirley’s childless marriage had) become unstuck like a piece of old and grubby sticking plaster —Gillian Tindall
- 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.
- Broke like a sea-bubble on the sand —James Montgomery
- (Perhaps the hope will die stillborn,) broken up like wreckage by the tides of events —Lawrence Durrell
- Come apart like wet kleenex —Anon
- (When I hit him he) comes apart like a perfect puzzle or an old flower —Philip Levine
- Comes apart like meat being carved —G. K. Chesterton
- (He started) coming apart like seedpod —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Cracking and fading like an old photograph —George Garrett
- 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.
- Crumble like old cheese —Anon
- Crumble like soda crackers —Dashiell Hammett
- (Their argument) crumbles like dry rice paper —Nicholas Proffitt
- (The old voice) crumpled … like a fragile leaf —Lawrence Durrell
- Crumple … like a leaf in the fire —James Joyce
- Crumple up like wet and falling roses —D. H. Lawrence
- (The house was) old and decayed like the pitted trunk of a persimmon —Yasunari Kawabata
- Disintegrate like a bubble at a touch —Anon
- Disintegrate like a crumbling monument —Anon
- (Words came to my lips and) dissipated like the wisps of children’s breaths in the cold air outside —Kent Nelson
- Dissolved and grew flimsy like the world after champagne —Graham Swift
- [A committee] dissolved like a summer cloud —Edith Wharton
- Dissolved like spit in the wind —Wallace Stevens
- Dissolve like vague promises —Elyse Sommer
- (Floats on water) dissolving like a paper plate —Margaret Atwood
- (The white sky) empties of its promise, like a cup —Sylvia Plath
- (The shadows under the trees and bushes) evaporated like puddles after a shower —Stephen King
- Evaporated like a drop of dew —Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
- 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.
- Fall apart and scatter like a smashed string of beads —Yaakov Churgin
- Falling into decay like a layer of mulch —Jean Thompson
- (Furniture) falling to pieces like dry fruitcake —William H. Gass
- Fizzles out like a wet firecracker —John Wainwright
- Goes up in smoke like so much tissue paper —Elizabeth Spencer
- Go sour [as a project] like milk abandoned in the far corner of the refrigerator —Marian Sturm
- Melt away like salt in water —Sholom Aleichem
- Melt away like Turkish delights —Frank O’Hara
- Melted away like a snail —Elizabeth Spencer
- [Members of a social set] melted away, like snow drops over a bonfire —Ayn Rand
- Melted [in response to compliments] like butter on the Sahara —Tony Ardizzone
- Melted like wax —The Holy Bible
- (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.
- Melts away like moonlight in the heaven of spreading day —Percy Bysshe Shelley
- (Your mind now) moldering like a wedding-cake —Adrienne Rich
- Rot and shred and peel away like old wallpaper —George Garrett
- [Resolutions] thinned away like smoke, into nothingness —Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), The Gioconda Smile, Harper and Brothers: New York, 1921
- Rotted through like old shoe leather —Marge Piercy
- Rotting like autumn leaves —Marguerite Yourcenar
- Shredded away like leaf tobacco —Saul Bellow
- (The snake slides again and again until all passed is left behind to) shrivel like a ghost without substance —Daniela Gioseffi
- (The remembrance had been brought to mind so often that it was) tarnished and dull, like a trinket not worth looking at —Beryl Markham
- (Her muscles came) undone like ribbons —Sharon Sheehe Stark
- Wear out like a worn battery —Anon
This makes a good update for “Wears out like a run-down gramophone record.”
- 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.
- Will dissolve faster than an Alka-Seltzer under a waterfall —Barry Farber, WNYC radio, commenting on the endurance of communism.
- Wither like the flower of the field —Miguel de Cervante
- Withered like grass —The Holy Bible/Psalms
- Wither like a blighted tree —Barbara Howes
- Withers like the face of an aged woman —Beryl Markham
|Noun||1.||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"|
|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
|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 destruction; "bomb tests resulted in the annihilation of the atoll"|
extermination, extinction - complete annihilation; "they think a meteor cause the extinction of the dinosaurs"