\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

But think of automobile assembly lines, for example, where union membership and job security have been eroded, potentially increasing stress. Evan Horowitz,, "Work is getting better, especially for women," 14 July 2018 Carl Dahlin talks about his family home at Porter Beach, where their private beach is heavily eroded due to high water levels in Lake Michigan. Tony Briscoe,, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 All other trails at Grandfather Mountain State Park remain open but are also severely eroded. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Will storm-ravaged NC mountain parks recover in time for Memorial Day weekend?," 21 May 2018 Those who are bedridden, patients in nursing homes or whose eyesight is severely eroded can also qualify for their pension amounts to be increased in order to pay for an in-home caregiver. Michele Parente,, "What military caregivers need to know about navigating the VA," 27 Apr. 2018 Friday’s yield decline comes a day after data showed U.S. inflation hit its highest rate in more than six years, eroding wage gains. Orla Mccaffrey, WSJ, "U.S. Government Bonds Gain On Trade Concerns," 13 July 2018 While the visceral showdown at the U.S.-Mexico border emphasized Latin American immigration, separation policies and, more broadly, quickly eroding immigration protections have a long reach. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Patricia Okoumou and the Threat to Black Immigrants," 13 July 2018 Alas, too few came and inflation had already eroded the value of each note to 20 cents. The Economist, "Venezuelan cash is almost worthless, but also scarce," 12 July 2018 Critics say Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is eroding liberal institutions, and India ranks 138 out of 180 countries in press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 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

15 Oct 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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