\ə-ˈbrād \
abraded; abrading

Definition of abrade 

transitive verb

1a : to rub or wear away especially by friction : erode

b : to irritate or roughen by rubbing

2 : to wear down in spirit : irritate, weary

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Other Words from abrade

abradable \ -​ˈbrā-​də-​bəl \ adjective
abrader noun

Examples of abrade in a Sentence

ropes abraded by the rocks were a huge danger to the climbers the prisoner's manacles abraded his wrists and ankles until they bled

Recent Examples on the Web

That helpless, screaming, wetting, nipple-abrading bundle of joy wouldn’t really change the woman who birthed it. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Mom-Coms Latch On to the Raw Reality of New Motherhood," 31 May 2018 Still, that box must contain gadgetry that would be the envy of 007 - fadeaways abrading opposing hopes like a sander, twisting layups augering through the defense, dunks slamming like hammers. Bill Livingston, cleveland.com, "LeBron James and the toolbox, the repertoire, the sweep: Bill Livingston (photos)," 7 May 2018 Nearly two dozen of the photographs in the exhibition are vintage prints; another 58 are newly printed from negatives abraded and speckled by time. Jason Farago, New York Times, "J.M. Coetzee’s Boyhood, in Black and White," 16 Jan. 2018 In stonewashing, the stones organically abrade the fabric to further loosen the weave and increase overall flexibility and softness. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "Everything You Never Knew You Needed to Know About Summer Bedding Fabrics," 9 July 2017 The authors proposed that Ganlea (as well as the other amphipithecids) often fed on hard seeds and nuts that abraded the canines of these primates. Brian Switek, WIRED, "Ganlea megacania and more "missing link" mania," 1 July 2009 Use firm but gentle pressure, being careful not to abrade or snag the yarn. Jolie Kerr, Esquire, "How to Clean Those Stylish Knit Sneakers You Love So Much," 24 Apr. 2017 However, really wallop it, especially with a hard or sharp object, and the plastic will abrade, cut or tear. John Decker, Popular Mechanics, "How to Fix Car Bumper Scratches," 7 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abrade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abrade

1675, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for abrade

borrowed from Latin abrādere "to remove by rubbing, scrape off," from ab- ab- + rādere "to scrape" — more at rase

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Dictionary Entries near abrade






Abraham's bosom


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Time Traveler for abrade

The first known use of abrade was in 1675

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More Definitions for abrade



English Language Learners Definition of abrade

: to damage (something) by rubbing, grinding, or scraping


\ə-ˈbrād \
abraded; abrading

Kids Definition of abrade

: to wear away or irritate by rubbing The rough fabric abraded his skin.

\ə-ˈbrād \
abraded; abrading

Medical Definition of abrade 

: to irritate or roughen by rubbing : chafe

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More from Merriam-Webster on abrade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abrade

Spanish Central: Translation of abrade

Nglish: Translation of abrade for Spanish Speakers

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full of whispering sounds

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