\ 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

Now, 500 years’ worth of shoreline is eroding in a matter of months. Tony Briscoe,, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 On the eastern edge of the strategically crucial South China Sea, populist strongman Rodrigo Duterte erodes freedoms in the Philippines. James Stavridis, Time, "Democracy Isn't Perfect, But It Will Still Prevail," 12 July 2018 The Trump administration is dead set on rolling back the gains made under the Affordable Care Act and eroding women’s access to essential health care. Stephanie Glover, STAT, "We need another July 4 uprising to protect women’s health," 6 July 2018 Few things erode that trust quite as quickly as a user interface designed to bait you into clicking on some ad that’s useless to you. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Isn’t it time we declared our independence from bloatware?," 4 July 2018 Najib, 64, is seeking a third term in office and under pressure to improve his ruling coalition's performance after support eroded in the last two elections., "Malaysia Declares May 9 Election Day a Holiday After Outcry," 11 Apr. 2018 Najib is seeking a third term in office and under pressure to improve his ruling coalition's performance after support eroded in the last two elections. Fox News, "Malaysia declares May 9 election day a holiday after outcry," 11 Apr. 2018 Photo: Mark Lennihan/Associated Press The end of easy money is slowly eroding a key support for company balance sheets. Richard Barley, WSJ, "What the Stuttering Corporate Bond Market Means for Stocks," 9 July 2018 Unions are eroding in influence, as globalization and technology (checkout computers at Target instead of cashiers) are keeping worker wages low, says Carl Van Horn, director of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Alfred Lubrano,, "Philadelphians feel squeezed as U.S. economy seems to hum. That's a poverty problem," 9 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

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erode

The first known use of erode was in 1612

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More Definitions for erode



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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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).


an open space surrounded by woods

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