[ ih-roh-zhuhn ]
See synonyms for erosion on
  1. the act or state of eroding; state of being eroded.

  2. the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc.

  1. the gradual decline or disintegration of something: Each candidate is blaming the other’s party for the erosion of international trade.

Origin of erosion

First recorded in 1535–45; from Latin ērōsiōn- (stem of ērōsiō ), derivative of ērōdere “to gnaw, eat away”; see origin at erode, -ion

Other words from erosion

  • e·ro·sion·al, adjective
  • an·ti·e·ro·sion, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use erosion in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for erosion


/ (ɪˈrəʊʒən) /

  1. the wearing away of rocks and other deposits on the earth's surface by the action of water, ice, wind, etc

  2. the act or process of eroding or the state of being eroded

Derived forms of erosion

  • erosive or 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

Scientific definitions for erosion


[ ĭ-rōzhən ]

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for erosion


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.