Definition of erode in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈrōd/


[with object]
1(Of wind, water, or other natural agents) gradually wear away (soil, rock, or land): the cliffs have been eroded by the sea
More example sentences
  • This water eroded the natural limestone of the island into a series of natural caves that became gradually drowned as the ice-sheets melted and the sea level rose.
  • They readily understood how water erodes rock, and this made Lyell's report all the more believable.
  • During its passage over land, water erodes vast amounts of continental rock.
1.1 [no object] (Of soil, rock, or land) be gradually worn away by natural agents.
Example sentences
  • Eventually the surrounding layers of older rock eroded away, leaving this mass exposed as a monadnock.
  • High on the side of the valley is a band of hard stone, below which softer rock has eroded out leaving overhangs and rock shelters along the base of the cliff.
  • Haitians have chopped down so many trees that the soil is eroding, making it harder to farm.
1.2Gradually destroy or be gradually destroyed: [with object]: this humiliation has eroded what confidence Jean has [no object]: profit margins are eroding
More example sentences
  • Concerns about falling victim to phishing scams are eroding US consumer confidence in online banking and e-commerce.
  • All of this leaves gnawing questions, questions that erode consumer confidence.
  • That could erode overall confidence in the economy and undermine the spending and investment needed to get it moving.
wear away/down, abrade, grind down, crumble;
eat away at, dissolve, corrode, rot, decay;
undermine, weaken, deteriorate, destroy
1.3 Medicine (Of a disease) gradually destroy (bodily tissue).
Example sentences
  • This measurement method is especially important when assessing PrUs because these wounds are more likely to erode subcutaneous tissue than skin.
  • George's face is badly disfigured and he has no fingers or toes; his voice is high-pitched because a part of his throat has been eroded by the disease.
  • In severe cases, this can actually erode esophageal tissue (erosive esophagitis).



Pronunciation: /iˈrōdəbəl/
Example sentences
  • Much of Sellers’ ground is highly erodible, yet switchgrass flourishes.
  • The initiative would allow landowners to make better economic use of their land, particularly of isolated and erodible land not suitable for agriculture or commercial clear-fell forestry.
  • To make matters worse, farmers plow highly erodible land - land too dry or too steeply sloping to sustain cultivation - to satisfy, the swelling demand.


Early 17th century: from French éroder or Latin erodere, from e- (variant of ex-) 'out, away' + rodere 'gnaw'.

  • rodent from mid 19th century:

    The teeth of rodents such as rats and mice grow continuously and must be kept worn down by gnawing, a fact that gives a clue about the origin of the term rodent. The word comes from Latin rodere ‘to gnaw’, which is related to erode (early 17th century), corrode, root, and rostrum. The original sense of the word is preserved in that unpleasant affliction the rodent ulcer.

Words that rhyme with erode

abode, bestrode, bode, code, commode, corrode, download, encode, explode, forebode, goad, implode, load, lode, middle-of-the-road, mode, node, ode, offload, outrode, road, rode, sarod, Spode, strode, toad, upload, woad

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: e·rode

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