\ 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

The searches erode the trust between students and adults at schools and interrupt learning time, Nadera said. Sonali Kohli,, "When LAUSD’s random searches of students end, what’s next for school safety?," 6 July 2019 More than halfway through Trump’s term, Germany is hesitant to lead, and the U.K. has eroded its standing in the world by using all of its policymaking bandwidth to solve the Brexit conundrum. Dalibor Rohac, National Review, "As They Confront China, Americans and Europeans Need Each Other," 28 June 2019 Almost 11 years into his sentence, Schwickrath said her optimism about how time in prison could help him has long eroded. Grace Oldham, azcentral, "A mother's frightening story highlights concerns over mental-health care in Arizona prisons," 26 June 2019 Critics say the system has eroded democracy and paved the way to one-man rule. Fox News, "Turkey's Erdogan vows to listen to people's 'messages' after crushing defeat," 25 June 2019 All this hard work erodes returns to investors, says Holger Rothenbusch of CDC Group, the British government’s overseas-investment arm. The Economist, "Buy-out firms are the new banks in emerging markets," 21 June 2019 The studies have found the bluff has eroded more than 150 feet over the past century, or an average of roughly 2 feet each year. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Point Woronzof shrinking an average of 2 feet each year, UAA researchers and students find," 12 June 2019 The attacks by the president and his advisers on the special counsel appear to be having an impact: Public support for Mueller's investigation has been gradually eroding. Carol D. Leonnig And Robert Costa,, "As Mueller moves to finalize obstruction report, Trump's allies ready for political battle," 16 June 2018 There are some other Trump ’16 states where his high standing has eroded significantly, including six that are holding Senate races this year: Arizona (+2), Montana (+3), Florida (+5), Missouri (+5), Texas (+5), North Dakota (+6), and Indiana (+8). Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Not Very Popular in the Heartland States He Won in 2016," 15 June 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

9 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with erode

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on erode

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