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

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Other Words from corrode

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

Synonyms for corrode

Synonyms

bite (at), eat, erode, fret, gnaw, nibble

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While most of the barrels on the lake bottom appear unlabeled and corroded, 12 may be intact. oregonlive.com, "U.S. EPA removes two barrels in Wallowa Lake recovery," 17 June 2019 The weight of this secret distorts Leila’s life, as other damaging secrets corrode the whole clan. The Economist, "Elif Shafak’s new novel is powerful and unflinching," 15 June 2019 And sonar sensors are expensive, laborious to install and prone to being corroded or encrusted with organisms. Allie Wilkinson, Scientific American, "Military Tries Out Fish as Underwater Spies," 29 Mar. 2019 With Washington corroded by partisanship and consumed by political crises, gridlock has become the norm and hundreds of senior government jobs remain unfilled. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Help Wanted: Overseers for Social Security and Medicare," 1 Oct. 2018 The microorganisms living on the space station include potentially dangerous bacteria that can cause illness, along with fungi that may be corroding the station itself. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Found Loads of Bacteria and Fungi on the ISS," 8 Apr. 2019 The other Mustang ended up corroding in the backyard of a house in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "Steve McQueen’s Ford Mustang, star of famed car-chase scene in ‘Bullitt,’ pulls into Tacoma," 8 Dec. 2018 Other heavy metals, such as copper, have been leaching into the water as the surrounding pipes corrode. Molly Rauch, Good Housekeeping, "When Your Water Poisons Your Children," 16 Feb. 2016 They are made of materials—glass, rubber, steel, paper gaskets, IC circuits—that decay, erode, corrode, and die from disuse. WSJ, "1968 Jaguar E-Type Zero: Revamping the Vintage Roadster as an Electric Car," 5 Oct. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for corrode

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for corrode

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

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More Definitions for corrode

corrode

verb

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on corrode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with corrode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for corrode

Spanish Central: Translation of corrode

Nglish: Translation of corrode for Spanish Speakers

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