\ 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

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 Intellectuals in those countries tend to view American leadership in the same light as European allies do, worrying that a Trump return to the White House would further erode democracy. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 American tech firms repeatedly expressed fears last year that the country's tech rules may erode privacy, usher in mass surveillance and harm business in the world's fastest growing digital market. Diksha Madhok, CNN, 6 July 2022 Over the many years since then, differential erosion — when layers of lava erode from the sea and winds at irregular rates — formed the arch. Kathleen Wong, USA TODAY, 22 July 2022 Inflation is on everyone's minds right now, but taxes also erode the value of your assets, including investments. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, 17 July 2022 His mistaken policies as well as an absence of any obvious administrative skills helped erode his support, but Johnson’s downfall ultimately owed more to his failings than his failures. The Editors, National Review, 8 July 2022 Factories around the world are reporting weakening demand for their products, a sign that the consumer-goods boom that kick-started the postpandemic economic recovery could turn into a bust as surging prices and interest rates erode spending power. Paul Hannon, WSJ, 1 July 2022 At the other end of the spectrum, auditors who share the answers from their company’s ethics exam violate its Code of Conduct and erode the trust that others put in the company. Bruce Weinstein, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Technical decisions executed under the banner of privacy instead extend monopolistic control and erode competitive markets. Maritza Johnson, Fortune, 24 June 2022 See More

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.

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

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Erode.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for erode


\ 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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