Definition of erosion in US English:



  • 1The process of eroding or being eroded by wind, water, or other natural agents.

    ‘the problem of soil erosion’
    • ‘Soil compaction causes farmers a lot of problems by preventing moisture from seeping down to plant roots and by increasing water runoff and wind erosion.’
    • ‘Wind and water erosion remove the most valuable part of the soil, the organic-rich upper horizon.’
    • ‘They are important for soil stability, decreasing sediment loss from both wind and water erosion.’
    • ‘Most of Mars' surface was shaped later by meteorite impacts, volcanic eruptions and erosion by dust and wind.’
    • ‘If the soil is subject to wind and water erosion, it will be important to provide cover to protect the soil.’
    • ‘They recommended that women use native grasses to protect against wind and water erosion.’
    • ‘The dams are affected by wind and water erosion to various degrees depending on the amount of vegetation cover.’
    • ‘Continued erosion by fast-flowing water eroded the uplands to the north of the Gippsland Basin and covered the coal measures with sands and gravels.’
    • ‘If we do nothing and the wind and soil erosion continue, it's likely that the wheat in some parts of the field will be killed.’
    • ‘Do not till if only a limited amount of crop residue is present after harvest since tillage will make the soil susceptible to wind and water erosion.’
    • ‘Such factors affect both water and wind erosion (particularly important in northwestern Ohio).’
    • ‘Severe wind and water erosion of the topsoil added to the degradation of the natural habitats, particularly on upland sites.’
    • ‘However, the significance of glacial processes as agents of erosion has been disputed by Boardman.’
    • ‘The river is characterized by low hydraulic gradients, a lack of flushing, and a scarcity of natural uncontaminated sediment from erosion of upstream soils.’
    • ‘The roots of his cover crops hold water in the sandy soils, break up the heavy clay soils to allow for better water infiltration, and hold the soil to prevent water and wind erosion all year.’
    • ‘They also made carvings deep, knowing well that erosion by wind and water can erase them.’
    • ‘Protect slopes from wind and water erosion during establishment.’
    • ‘However, they'll be more residue where water is available, helping protect the soil from wind erosion.’
    • ‘Vigorously growing crops hold the soil and nutrients in place while protecting the soil from wind and water erosion.’
    • ‘The animation in the lesson shows the process of wind erosion, depicting the dynamics of small and large soil particle movement due to wind.’
    1. 1.1 The gradual destruction or diminution of something.
      ‘the erosion of support for the party’
      • ‘Some feel the business will suffer further erosion and that Edinburgh will be reduced to a supporting role.’
      • ‘Rural communities have seen this gradual erosion of facilities over a long period.’
      • ‘What has had the most profound impact on the gradual erosion of England's expectations over the past few months is the cruelly high number of injuries which have afflicted the squad.’
      • ‘White America's problem is a loss of moral grounding and gradual erosion of its family structure.’
      • ‘Further erosion of the establishment's protective shell was postponed by the Second World War where, as always, the truth was the first casualty.’
      • ‘Ultimately, the democratic process began to work as it should, and erosion of popular support and active protest brought the war to an end without victory.’
      • ‘He then traced the gradual erosion of the conventions that had supported religious practice in Ireland.’
      • ‘The representative from the Chamber of Commerce warned of a loss of passing trade, the threat to business and the gradual erosion of the city centre due to the lower overheads of out-of-town retail parks.’
      • ‘The whole system is based on privatized patronage and the prohibition and erosion of real, functioning democracy - in other words, broad accountability.’
      • ‘Once the basic rights of the players are met, the national progression will be the gradual erosion of the amateur status.’
      • ‘He appears to desire the absolute destruction of the enemy forces, not the gradual erosion of the enemy force which is attrition.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, in the past few years, she's been let down by the gradual erosion of her memory.’
      • ‘We may see the gradual erosion of the two party system and an enormous fracturing of the vote over the next couple of decades.’
      • ‘Because Labour currently only holds party list seats in the Highlands & Islands, it is little affected by the apparent erosion of its second vote support.’
      • ‘The metaphors of the loss, diminution, or erosion of state power can misrepresent this reconfiguration.’
      • ‘They tend to confirm an amount of erosion in her home support base.’
      • ‘What the council cannot do is ignore the gradual erosion of the village's character through unlawful acts.’
      • ‘The end of racism is the solution to the colour-coded erosion of the justice system and the end of imperialism and neo-colonisation.’
      • ‘What could not be achieved frontally may arrive more gradually, by erosion of social protections rather than assault on them; perhaps the more typical route in any case.’
      • ‘‘Any further erosion in public sector support will inevitably lead to fundamental changes in the nature of the event itself,’ he writes.’
      wearing away, abrasion, scraping away, grinding down, crumbling, wear and tear, weathering, dissolving, dissolution
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Medicine The gradual destruction of tissue or tooth enamel by physical or chemical action.
      • ‘Similarly, it is the frequency of acidic food and drinks - rather than the amount - that affects tooth erosion.’
      • ‘Teeth may be damaged by dental caries, trauma, erosion, attrition, and abrasion or lost through periodontal disease.’
      • ‘A striking morphologic finding was a topographical relation of focal inflammation with sclerotic atrophy in areas with erosion of the epithelium.’
      • ‘Symptoms vary from pain and ulceration to bleeding, loose teeth, and bone erosion.’
      • ‘Frequent vomiting can cause retention of stomach acids in the mouth in turn leading to erosion of the tooth enamel.’
    3. 1.3Medicine A place where surface tissue has been gradually destroyed.
      ‘patients with gastric erosions’
      • ‘Skin lesions present initially as bullae, which then rupture, leaving slow-healing erosions and crusted lesions.’
      • ‘Intact blisters outnumber erosions because these bullae are not easily unroofed.’
      • ‘Physical findings never reveal primary skin lesions, only secondary erosions, ulcers, and crusts and scars, which are often linear in appearance.’
      • ‘Local tissue reactions were confined to the treatment site and included erythema, swelling, desquamation, erosions, and eschar in most patients.’
      • ‘The most commonly missed upper gastrointestinal lesions are erosions in large hiatal hernias, arteriovenous malformations, and peptic ulcers.’


Mid 16th century: via French from Latin erosio(n-), from erodere ‘wear or gnaw away’ (see erode).