Word of the Day : October 3, 2011


verb kuh-RAYD


: to wear or crumble away through abrasion


Over the years, the rushing waters had corraded the riverbanks.

"The nearly pyramidal shapes in the Cydonia region of Mars -- which recent imagery suggest are likely no more than ancient mountains corraded by eons of sandstorms --were advanced by the late astronomer Carl Sagan and others as sites to be examined by future missions to Mars as potential artifacts of intelligence." -- From P. J. Capelotti's 2010 book The Human Archaeology of Space: Lunar, Planetary and Interstellar Relics of Exploration

Did You Know?

In Latin "rodere" means "to gnaw" and "radere" means "to scrape." The latter word is at the base of both "abrade" and "corrade." "Corrade," which carved its niche in the English language during the mid-17th century, is used when something, such as moving water, "rubs" or "scrapes" something else away. In contrast, the word "corrode," derived from "rodere," is fitting when something "eats away" at something else especially by chemical action. "Erode" shares that meaning but can also be used to describe abrasive action, much like "corrade." As an aside, the gnawing of small animals, such as mice and squirrels, influenced the formation of the noun "rodent" through "rodere."

Word Family Quiz

What 6-letter descendant of "radere" refers to something that is used to remove marks? The answer is ...


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