cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Definition of corrosive

1 : tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids corrosive action the corrosive effects of alcoholism
2 : bitingly sarcastic corrosive satire

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Other Words from corrosive

corrosive noun
corrosively adverb
corrosiveness noun

Examples of corrosive in a Sentence

She argues that racism is dangerous and corrosive to society. a corrosive satire on the fashion industry and its movers and shakers
Recent Examples on the Web Race reductionism is also fundamentally corrosive to more focused efforts to reckon with this new era of inequality, thanks to its constitutional failure to recognize change and the workings of historical processes, both on and among black people. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, "The Retrograde Quest for Symbolic Prophets of Black Liberation," 17 Feb. 2021 In 2018, the Carr Fire burned across 359 square miles of northern California and swept over the Iron Mountain Mine Superfund site, threatening to release corrosive chemicals into the watershed. NBC News, "Wildfires fueled by climate change threaten toxic Superfund sites," 23 Dec. 2020 That means Starman and the Roadster, without factors like humidity, varying temperatures, or corrosive chemicals like road salt, are essentially cryogenically preserved. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Elon Musk's Floating Starman Finally 'Drove' by Mars," 9 Oct. 2020 This construct is ideal for temperature stability, in addition to being non-corrosive and rust- and dent-resistant. Field & Stream, "Best Insulated Lunch Box to Keep Your Food Fresh," 26 Jan. 2021 Private companies have shown themselves able to act far more nimbly than our government, imposing consequences on a would-be tyrant who has until now enjoyed a corrosive degree of impunity. Star Tribune, "Tech titans are using their power well," 12 Jan. 2021 The corrosive water, however, was not treated properly, a misstep that freed lead from old plumbing and into homes. David Eggert, Star Tribune, "Flint water probe brings charges against ex-governor, others," 14 Jan. 2021 The corrosive water, however, was not treated properly and released lead from old plumbing into homes in one of the worst manmade environmental disasters in U.S. history. David Eggert,, "Ex.-Michigan Governor Snyder charged in Flint water crisis," 13 Jan. 2021 The former mine leaches water more corrosive than battery acid that also contains large amounts of zinc, copper and cadmium. NBC News, "Wildfires fueled by climate change threaten toxic Superfund sites," 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'corrosive.' 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 corrosive

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for corrosive

Middle English corrosif, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin corrōsīvus, from Latin corrōsus, past participle of corrōdere "to gnaw, corrode" + -īvus -ive

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Time Traveler for corrosive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for corrosive

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Corrosive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for corrosive



English Language Learners Definition of corrosive

: causing damage to metal or other materials through a chemical process
: causing someone or something to become weak and damaged


cor·​ro·​sive | \ kə-ˈrō-siv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) , -ziv \

Kids Definition of corrosive

: tending or able to destroy, weaken, or wear away little by little corrosive substances


cor·​ro·​sive | \ -ˈrō-siv, -ziv How to pronounce corrosive (audio) \

Medical Definition of corrosive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: tending or having the power to corrode corrosive acids a corrosive gas

Other Words from corrosive

corrosiveness noun



Medical Definition of corrosive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a substance that corrodes : caustic

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Comments on corrosive

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