1. The group of natural processes, including weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion, and transportation, by which material is worn away from the earth's surface.
2. The superficial destruction of bodily tissue by friction, pressure, ulceration, or trauma.
3. The process of eroding or the condition of being eroded: erosion of confidence in the governor; erosion of the value of the dollar.
[Latin ērōsiō, ērōsiōn-, an eating away, from ērōsus, eaten away; see EROSE.]
(click for a larger image)erosion
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.