corrode

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

Definition of corrode

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 spirit— Bernard De Voto

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from corrode

corrodible \ kə-​ˈrō-​də-​bəl How to pronounce corrode (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for corrode

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Corrode comes from Latin corrodere ("to gnaw to pieces"), a combination of the suffix "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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Still, his fear that modern office life would corrode personal freedom was borne out. Richard Cooke, The New Republic, "The Perpetual Disappointment of Remote Work," 4 Jan. 2021 Although its powers appeared absolute, Descartes’ demon couldn’t corrode all sources of certainty. Washington Post, "The shadowy spirits that helped advance science," 24 Dec. 2020 Ford has recalled 350,000 Ford Explorers built between 2013 and 2017 for the potential for the rear suspension toe link to corrode and fracture. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "350,000 2013–2017 Ford Explorers Recalled for Suspension Issue," 4 Nov. 2020 As a result, water entering the rear brake caliper boot may cause the parking brake operating shafts to corrode and possibly bind. USA TODAY, "Car recalls for December 3-10," 11 Dec. 2020 As a result, water entering the rear brake caliper boot may cause the parking brake operating shafts to corrode and possibly bind. Detroit Free Press, "Car recalls for Dec. 3-10: More than 400K vehicles from Kia, Hyundai recalled," 11 Dec. 2020 Failure to reach a deal would end many types of cooperation between the U.K. and the EU over crime, security and travel, and corrode relations between close American allies in Europe as a new administration comes to power in Washington. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Significant Obstacles Remain in Brexit Negotiations," 9 Dec. 2020 Glaven notes that nanowires would have an advantage in environments such as the ocean or human body, which corrode traditional electronics. Sophie Bushwick, Scientific American, "Electricity-Carrying Bacteria Lead to New Applications—and New Questions," 23 Nov. 2020 This variety became a favorite of customers in salty-aired Hawaii and Bahamas because glass doesn’t rust or corrode due to air quality. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian Magazine, "Only One Factory in North America Still Makes Washboards, and They Are Flying Off of Shelves," 11 Nov. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of corrode

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

History and Etymology for corrode

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about corrode

Time Traveler for corrode

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about corrode

Statistics for corrode

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrode.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corrode. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for corrode

corrode

verb
How to pronounce corrode (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of corrode

: to slowly break apart and destroy (metal, an object, etc.) through a chemical process
: to gradually destroy or weaken (something)

corrode

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

Kids Definition of corrode

1 : to wear away little by little (as by rust or acid)
2 : to gradually destroy or weaken corroding traditions

corrode

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

Medical Definition of corrode

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corrode

Nglish: Translation of corrode for Spanish Speakers

Comments on corrode

What made you want to look up corrode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!