\ i-ˈrōd How to pronounce erode (audio) \
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 How to pronounce erode (audio) \ noun
erodible or less commonly erodable \ i-​ˈrō-​də-​bəl How to pronounce erode (audio) \ 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 over time, that began to erode and burnout increased, Singh said. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 3 Oct. 2021 In chart after chart, FDA and the CDC experts cited research suggesting that the now-dominant strain has helped erode vaccines’ effectiveness in myriad ways. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2021 But his numbers began to erode before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in the middle of the US withdrawal. John Harwood, CNN, 22 Aug. 2021 Formal dress codes began to erode in the 1990s when Casual Fridays were introduced in workplaces, said Daniel Delis Hill, a fashion historian. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2021 The tension can erode the quality of life in a building where board members and condo owners pass each other every day in the lobby, by the pool, or walking the dog, Rolando said. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 Republicans still hope to prevail and erode the 219-211 Democratic majority in Congress ahead of midterm elections in 2022. Susan Montoya Bryan And Morgan Lee, Star Tribune, 1 June 2021 These problems threaten to erode public confidence in Biden’s ability to live up to central promises of his presidency. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2021 In some ways, this broader shift intensified divisions between red states and blue states, and may have helped erode public trust in the media. Sascha Cohen, The Atlantic, 10 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Erode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce erode (audio) \
eroded; eroding

Kids Definition of erode

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


transitive verb
\ i-ˈrōd How to pronounce erode (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on erode

Nglish: Translation of erode for Spanish Speakers

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


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