\i-ˈrōd \
eroded; eroding

Definition of erode 

transitive verb

1 : to diminish or destroy by degrees:

a : to eat into or away by slow destruction of substance (as by acid, infection, or cancer)

b : to wear away by the action of water, wind, or glacial ice flooding eroded the hillside

c : to cause to deteriorate or disappear as if by eating or wearing away inflation eroding buying power

2 : to produce or form by eroding glaciers erode U-shaped valleys

intransitive verb

: to undergo erosion where the land has eroded away

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Other Words from erode

erodibility \i-​ˌrō-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
erodible or less commonly erodable \i-​ˈrō-​də-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of erode in a Sentence

Crashing waves have eroded the cliffs along the beach. The shoreline has eroded badly.

Recent Examples on the Web

That edge may be eroding — to San Francisco’s benefit. Natasha Mascarenhas,, "The new Silicon Valley has cable cars and an orange bridge," 12 July 2018 No recent developments have eroded its underpinnings. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Supreme Court Topples Precedent to Hobble Public Unions," 27 June 2018 But James Madison, the Founding Father and America’s fourth president, would be appalled at how these platforms have eroded democracy, claims Jeffrey Rosen, the president and CEO of the National Constitution Center. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "James Madison Would Be Horrified by a Tweeting President," 25 June 2018 Mass communication—television and, especially, internet access—has eroded some regional distinctions, and Democrats have seen the country move toward them on many social issues. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Democrats should take mayors seriously as presidential candidates," 22 June 2018 Media: Euronews These emissions significantly erode the potential climate benefits of natural gas use, the study concluded. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Major methane study complicates plans of oil and gas industry," 21 June 2018 And there’s already a lot of campaigns under way to just erode trust in voting, in candidates, in platforms, and people, and your neighbors. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Data for Democracy policy head Renée DiResta answers disinformation questions on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 14 July 2018 The conduct alleged in these charges erodes public trust in the safety and effectiveness of medical products, including diagnostics. Emma Stefansky, The Hive, "Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes Is Facing Decades in Prison," 16 June 2018 The conduct alleged in these charges erodes public trust in the safety and effectiveness of medical products, including diagnostics. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes indicted on criminal charges," 15 June 2018

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

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for erode

Latin erodere to eat away, from e- + rodere to gnaw — more at rodent

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Statistics for erode

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erode

The first known use of erode was in 1612

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English Language Learners Definition of erode

: to gradually destroy (something) or to be gradually destroyed by natural forces (such as water, wind, or ice)


\i-ˈrōd \
eroded; eroding

Kids Definition of erode

: to destroy or be destroyed by wearing away Waves erode the shore.

\i-ˈrōd \
eroded; eroding

Medical Definition of erode 

1 : to eat into or away by slow destruction of substance (as by acid, infection, or cancer) acids that erode the teeth bone eroded by cancer

2 : to remove with an abrasive a dental tool that erodes the decayed area

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More from Merriam-Webster on erode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erode

Spanish Central: Translation of erode

Nglish: Translation of erode for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of erode for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about erode

Comments on erode

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a nest or breeding place

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