ero·​sion | \ i-ˈrō-zhən How to pronounce erosion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce erosional (audio) , -​ˈrō-​zhə-​nᵊl \ adjective
erosionally \ i-​ˈrōzh-​nəl-​ē How to pronounce erosionally (audio) , -​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

The ground survey estimated 74.5 percent of burial mounds in the survey area had been disturbed by looters at some point, but erosion over time can hide evidence of earlier looting, so the real extent of the damage may be even greater. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads," 26 Dec. 2018 The coastal erosion is literally carving out homes in coastal Alaska, forcing communities to vote to relocate. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "The Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program Is Bringing Awareness to Environmental and Community Issues in Alaska," 24 Sep. 2018 The three of us pile out of the truck in a fantastical spot, a deep canyon where erosion has turned the red-tinged canyon walls into totems. Jason Harper, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Hunt for Dinosaur Bones in the Gobi Desert," 20 July 2018 Under them, hotels get payouts following a big storm to repair the reef, which is crucial to protecting the resorts from even more catastrophic damage in future storms and devastating beach erosion. Evan Halper,, "Racing to save Florida’s coral from climate change, scientists turn to a once-unthinkable strategy: ‘assisted evolution’," 9 July 2018 As our country grapples with the erosion of essential rights for so many, the corporate sector has shown itself to be an effective and powerful voice. Ilyse Hogue, Glamour, "Attention Corporate America, Women Need to Know That You Support Their Reproductive Rights," 23 Apr. 2019 One, the base erosion and anti-abuse tax, or BEAT, applies to large companies with at least $500 million in gross receipts and significant cross-border transactions with related entities. Theo Francis, WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: What Investors Need to Know," 15 Feb. 2019 Officials say more than 400 firefighters remain in the area, working to prevent erosion and monitoring spots that continue to burn. Fox News, "Biggest wildfire on record in California is fully contained," 19 Sep. 2018 The lack of sea ice is not just hitting walrus hunting hard; throughout the winter and spring, coastal communities have seen substantial flooding and erosion during storms without much of the usual sea ice to act as a buffer. Andrea Thompson, Scientific American, "Shock and Thaw—Alaskan Sea Ice Just Took a Steep, Unprecedented Dive," 2 May 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

17 May 2019

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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 How to pronounce erosion (audio) \

Kids Definition of erosion

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


ero·​sion | \ i-ˈrō-zhən How to pronounce erosion (audio) \

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 strong desire or propensity

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