\ 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 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 If the star was as active as our sun, its stellar wind would erode and sweep away the atmospheres of the planets. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronomers find super-Earths orbiting a star 11 light-years away," 25 June 2020 Tokyo has traditionally stayed out of internal Chinese matters, but Beijing’s moves to erode Hong Kong’s autonomy through a new security law have prompted a more confrontational stance by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Peter Landers And Chieko Tsuneoka, WSJ, "Japan Woos Hong Kong Business as Abe Cools to China," 18 June 2020 Critics say that the law will erode freedoms that promised to the former British colony and may be used to curb dissent. Zen Soo,, "Taiwan unveils plan to help Hong Kongers looking to leave," 18 June 2020 Alternatives include tolerating higher debts such as Japan does, or perhaps trying to inflict a dose of inflation to erode them away -- itself a tax of sorts. David Goodman,, "Europe’s Debt Reckoning May Mean Tough Choices on Who to Tax," 17 June 2020 Opponents say the push would undermine the freedoms promised to Hong Kong before its return to Chinese rule in 1997 and erode the city’s appeal as a global financial hub. Fortune, "Hong Kong security laws may not be retroactive, Chinese official says," 15 June 2020 Still, Ford has seen its share of the midsize SUV market segment slowly erode since 2012, from 7% to 5.2%, according to Kelley Blue Book data. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Future uncertain for new Ford Edge as company heads into labor talks in Canada," 16 June 2020 Regardless of the outcome, Howard said these types of cases further erode public trust. Jeff Pegues, CBS News, "Fulton County DA on how he'll decide whether to bring charges in Rayshard Brooks' death," 15 June 2020 These acts further erode his already tenuous position, prompting church leaders to rebuke him, and decorated generals to question his fitness for office. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "An American Spring of Reckoning," 14 June 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.

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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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Time Traveler for erode

Time Traveler

The first known use of erode was in 1612

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Statistics for erode

Last Updated

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Erode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on erode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for erode

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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