\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from erode

erodibility \ i-​ˌrō-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce erodibility (audio) \ noun
erodible or less commonly erodable \ i-​ˈrō-​də-​bəl How to pronounce erodable (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 Unless cities continually adapt, these shifts could significantly erode their tree canopies, making urban landscapes uglier—and more unlivable. Clive Thompson, The Atlantic, "The Struggle to Save City Trees," 9 Oct. 2020 Electric cars will erode the industrial base even if the U.S. leads the world in producing them. Mike Watson, National Review, "Electric Cars: A Hill to Die On?," 5 Oct. 2020 With ridges out of the way, marshes erode more quickly and storms strike deeper inland. Tristan Baurick,, "'Only way to describe them is massive': Two BP-funded coastal restoration projects get underway," 4 Oct. 2020 Still, Gooren said, Trump’s anti-immigrant, racist actions and rhetoric aren’t helping matters and could further erode the church’s appeal. Nate Carlisle, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Some scholars see Trump years adding to problems abroad for LDS Church," 29 Sep. 2020 Moving to replace Redfield with someone such as Atlas would further erode morale and probably lead to resignations, staffers say. Anchorage Daily News, "CDC credibility eroded by internal blunders and external attacks as coronavirus vaccine campaigns loom," 28 Sep. 2020 Feaver said Trump's suggestion that military leaders are warmongers will further erode his standing with the brass and rank and file alike. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "Trump's tensions with the military grow after reports that he disparaged soldiers, generals," 11 Sep. 2020 Human rights advocates say the Maduro government is using the quarantine to further erode civil liberties. Scott Smith, Star Tribune, "Maduro's hold on Venezuela tightens as coronavirus surges," 28 July 2020 That can tip off a vicious cycle, Berman wrote: Declining property investment would further erode the local tax base needed to pay for protective infrastructure upgrades. Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "How new flood risk maps could undermine marginalized neighborhoods," 5 July 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about erode

Time Traveler for erode

Time Traveler

The first known use of erode was in 1612

See more words from the same year

Statistics for erode

Last Updated

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Erode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for erode


How to pronounce erode (audio)

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.
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on erode

What made you want to look up erode? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!