erosion[ē rō′z̸hən, i-]
- Erosion is defined as the slow wearing away of something.
An example of erosion is the shrinking beach at the seaside.
Cracks by a riverbed created by erosion.
Origin of erosionClassical Latin erosio ; from erosus, past participle of erodere
- The group of natural processes, including weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion, and transportation, by which material is worn away from the earth's surface.
- The process of eroding or the condition of being eroded: erosion of confidence in the governor; erosion of the value of the dollar.
Origin of erosionLatin ērōsiō, ērōsiōn-, an eating away, from ērōsus, eaten away; see erose.
- (uncountable) The result of having been being worn away or eroded, as by a glacier on rock or the sea on a cliff face.
- (uncountable) The changing of a surface by mechanical action, friction, thermal expansion contraction, or impact.
- (uncountable) Destruction by abrasive action of fluids.
- (mathematics, image processing) One of two fundamental operations in morphological image processing from which all other morphological operations are derived.
- (dentistry) Loss of tooth enamel due to non-bacteriogenic chemical processes.
- (medicine) A shallow ulceration or lesion, usually involving skin or epithelial tissue.
From Middle French erosion, from Latin erosio (“eating away”), derived from erodere.
The first known occurrence in English was in the 1541 translation by Robert Copland of Guy de Chauliac's medical text The Questyonary of Cyrurygens. Copland used erosion to describe how ulcers developed in the mouth. By 1774 'erosion' was used outside medical subjects. Oliver Goldsmith employed the term in the more contemporary geological context, in his book Natural History, with the quote
- "Bounds are thus put to the erosion of the earth by water."