Pronunciation: (di-sō"sē-ā'shun, -shē-ā'-), [key]
1. an act or instance of dissociating.
2. the state of being dissociated; disjunction; separation: the dissociation of church and state.
3. Physical Chem.
a. the reversible resolution or decomposition of a complex substance into simpler constituents caused by variation in physical conditions, as when water gradually decomposes into hydrogen and oxygen under great heat in such a way that when the temperature is lowered the liberated elements recombine.
b. See electrolytic dissociation.
4. Psychiatry.the splitting off of a group of mental processes from the main body of consciousness, as in amnesia or certain forms of hysteria.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.