1. The act or an instance of breaking up, as a division, dispersal, or disintegration.
2. The discontinuance of a relationship, as a marriage or a friendship.
3. The cracking and shifting of ice in rivers or harbors during the spring.
4. A loss of control or composure.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.