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[ih-roh-zhuh n] /ɪˈroʊ ʒən/
the act or state of eroding; state of being eroded.
the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc.
Origin of erosion
First recorded in 1535-45, erosion is from the Latin word ērōsiōn- (stem of ērōsiō). See erose, -ion
Related forms
erosional, adjective
antierosion, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for erosion
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then, to stop this "erosion," the obturating (sealing) primer came into use.

  • At the present rate of erosion it takes 2,640 years to eat away a mile.

    Evening Round Up

    William Crosbie Hunter
  • There is also decivilization by erosion, and while it's going on, nobody notices it.

    Space Viking Henry Beam Piper
  • From top to bottom we have the unmistakable marks of erosion.

  • This cycle of events is called the erosion cycle or topographic cycle.

British Dictionary definitions for erosion


the wearing away of rocks and other deposits on the earth's surface by the action of water, ice, wind, etc
the act or process of eroding or the state of being eroded
Derived Forms
erosive, erosional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for erosion

1540s, from Middle French erosion (16c.), from Latin erosionem (nominative erosio) "a gnawing away," noun of action from past participle stem of erodere "gnaw away," from ex- "away" (see ex-) + rodere "gnaw" (see rodent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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erosion in Medicine

erosion e·ro·sion (ĭ-rō'zhən)

  1. Superficial destruction of a surface by friction, pressure, ulceration, or trauma.

  2. The wearing away of a tooth by chemical or abrasive action. Also called odontolysis.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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erosion in Science
The gradual wearing away of land surface materials, especially rocks, sediments, and soils, by the action of water, wind, or a glacier. Usually erosion also involves the transport of eroded material from one place to another, as from the top of a mountain to an adjacent valley, or from the upstream portion of a river to the downstream portion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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erosion in Culture

erosion definition

A type of weathering in which surface soil and rock are worn away through the action of glaciers, water, and wind.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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