corrode

verb

cor·​rode kə-ˈrōd How to pronounce corrode (audio)
corroded; corroding

transitive verb

1
: to eat away by degrees as if by gnawing
especially : to wear away gradually usually by chemical action
the metal was corroded beyond repair
2
: to weaken or destroy gradually : undermine
manners and miserliness that corrode the human spiritBernard De Voto
corrodible adjective

Did you know?

Corrode comes from Latin corrodere ("to gnaw to pieces"), a combination of the prefix "cor-" (used here as an intensifier with the meaning of "completely") and the verb "rodere" ("to gnaw"). At one time, "corrode" was used to literally indicate the action of gnawing away, as in "woodworms corroded the wood." But it is the more figurative senses from the action of gnawing or eating away that have persisted, as in "salt water corroded the iron" or "graphic content on television and the Internet is corroding the moral fabric of society."

Examples of corrode in a Sentence

Rainwater may corrode the steel containers. Over time, the pipes become corroded and need to be replaced. After a few weeks in the ocean, the boat began to corrode. Years of lies and secrets had corroded their relationship.
Recent Examples on the Web The United States should partner with Asian allies working to strengthen democratic institutions from the Maldives to Mongolia and engage more robustly with civil-society watchdogs that fight against corruption that corrodes national sovereignty and threatens U.S. interests. Michael Green, Foreign Affairs, 23 Jan. 2024 That, in turn, has led him to want to corrode and strip away those rules and strictures that stand in the way of his desire to impose his will directly, both on the government and the country at large. Jamelle Bouie, The Mercury News, 26 June 2024 The occupation, Leibowitz predicted, would corrode Israel’s social fabric. Moti Mizrahi, JSTOR Daily, 18 Oct. 2023 According to Sophie, stomach acid – which is powerful enough to corrode metal – doesn’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria. Tracy Achonwa, Vogue, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for corrode 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'corrode.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English corroden, borrowed from Latin corrōdere "to gnaw, chew up," from cor-, variant before r of com- com- + rōdere "to gnaw, nibble, eat away" — more at rodent

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of corrode was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near corrode

Cite this Entry

“Corrode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrode. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

corrode

verb
cor·​rode kə-ˈrōd How to pronounce corrode (audio)
corroded; corroding
: to eat or be eaten away by degrees as if by gnawing
a bridge corroded by rust

Medical Definition

corrode

verb
cor·​rode kə-ˈrōd How to pronounce corrode (audio)
corroded; corroding

transitive verb

: to eat away by degrees as if by gnawing
especially : to wear away gradually usually by chemical action

More from Merriam-Webster on corrode

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