ero·​sion | \ i-ˈrō-zhən \

Definition of erosion

1a : the action or process of eroding
b : the state of being eroded
2 : an instance or product of erosion

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Other Words from erosion

erosional \ i-​ˈrōzh-​nəl , -​ˈrō-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective
erosionally \ i-​ˈrōzh-​nəl-​ē , -​ˈrō-​zhə-​nᵊl-​ \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for erosion


attrition, corrosion, undermining, waste



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Examples of erosion in a Sentence

Landscapers planted grass to stop the erosion of the hillside. Centuries of erosion by wind have carved grooves in the rocks.

Recent Examples on the Web

Lamar Alexander’s last act began last summer and ended in a disappointing failure — a perfect proxy for the erosion of civility and compromise in modern politics. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Lamar Alexander, pillar of Washington’s old guard, is retiring from the Senate," 17 Dec. 2018 Originally the hotspot included more than 100 volcanoes, but generations of erosion from the sea have left six standing. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Hawaiian Volcano ​Kilauea Taking a Break From Erupting, But it Might Not Be All Done," 8 Aug. 2018 Anxiety along Lake Superior Despite help from the control board, the consequences of shoreline erosion are drastic along Lake Superior. Tony Briscoe,, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 Firms like Royal Dutch Shell Plc are bemoaning the erosion of shareholder value from the go-it-alone mentality during the $200 billion splurge on Australian LNG projects over the past decade. Dan Murtaugh,, "Gas `Spaghetti' Past Prompts Australian Teamwork to Cut Costs," 16 May 2018 Most permitting agencies require preservation of vegetation and minimal disturbance of soil on slopes to prevent erosion, which further restricts where a house can go. Kris Frieswick, WSJ, "Luxury Living Off the Edge of a Mountain," 21 Nov. 2018 But Lowe’s disclosure of just how much data is involved triggered anxiety about the erosion of user privacy. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "MoviePass Wants to Gather a Whole Lot of Data About Its Users," 10 Mar. 2018 Live sports continue to deliver large audiences to TV networks otherwise suffering steady ratings erosion. Lara O’reilly, WSJ, "Streaming Sports Service DAZN Aims to Introduce Ad Model Without All the Repetition," 23 Nov. 2018 That erosion, TallBear said Monday on Twitter, has been long-standing. Alex Horton, The Seattle Times, "Elizabeth Warren angers prominent Native Americans with politically fraught DNA test," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'erosion.' 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 erosion

1541, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for erosion

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for erosion

The first known use of erosion was in 1541

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English Language Learners Definition of erosion

: the gradual destruction of something by natural forces (such as water, wind, or ice) : the process by which something is eroded or worn away


ero·​sion | \ i-ˈrō-zhən \

Kids Definition of erosion

: the act of wearing away or eroding : the state of being eroded


ero·​sion | \ i-ˈrō-zhən \

Medical Definition of erosion

1a : the superficial destruction of a surface area of tissue (as mucous membrane) by inflammation, ulceration, or trauma erosion of the uterine cervix
b : progressive loss of the hard substance of a tooth
2 : an instance or product of erosion a circular erosion on the skin

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Comments on erosion

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


a complex dispute or argument

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