eroded; eroding

transitive verb

: to diminish or destroy by degrees:
: to eat into or away by slow destruction of substance (as by acid, infection, or cancer)
: to wear away by the action of water, wind, or glacial ice
flooding eroded the hillside
: to cause to deteriorate or disappear as if by eating or wearing away
inflation eroding buying power
: to produce or form by eroding
glaciers erode U-shaped valleys

intransitive verb

: to undergo erosion
where the land has eroded away
erodibility noun
erodible adjective
or less commonly erodable

Example Sentences

Crashing waves have eroded the cliffs along the beach. The shoreline has eroded badly.
Recent Examples on the Web By the late 1950s, the Stork Club began to erode into irrelevance. Alex Vadukul, New York Times, 25 Sep. 2022 After the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests demanding universal suffrage, freedoms began to erode visibly. Benedict Rogers, WSJ, 30 June 2022 Stars like Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham and others began to erode the foolishly flawed thinking. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Feb. 2022 Once the river was restricted by the Army Corps of Engineers’ network of levees after the Great Flood of 1927, the wetlands lost much of their supply of sediment and began to erode. Duy Linh Tu, Scientific American, 27 Jan. 2022 Slowly, but surely, the importance of the sweeps began to erode. Brad Adgate, Forbes, 9 Nov. 2021 But the railroads’ monopoly on the overland travel market began to erode in the mid-20th century as the highway system was built and air travel came to prominence. Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2021 The new bureaucracies would have to keep track of the inevitable exceptions to the tax introduced by politicians that would erode the tax base. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 20 Jan. 2023 Florida, where evacuations had been ordered, is expecting storm surge that could further erode many beaches that were hit by Hurricane Ian in September. Dennis Romero, NBC News, 9 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1612, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of erode was in 1612

Dictionary Entries Near erode

Cite this Entry

“Erode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


eroded; eroding
: to destroy gradually by chemical means : corrode
: to wear away by or as if by the action of water, wind, or glacial ice
: to undergo erosion

Medical Definition


transitive verb
eroded; eroding
: 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
: to remove with an abrasive
a dental tool that erodes the decayed area

More from Merriam-Webster on erode

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