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erode (v.)

1610s, "gnaw or eat away" (transitive), a back-formation from erosion, or else from French éroder, from Latin erodere "to gnaw away, consume," from assimilated form of ex "away" (see ex-) + rodere "to gnaw" (see rodent). Intransitive sense "become worn away" is by 1905. Related: Eroded; eroding. Originally of acids, ulcers, etc.; geological sense is from 1830.

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Definitions of erode from WordNet

erode (v.)
become ground down or deteriorate;
Her confidence eroded
Synonyms: gnaw / gnaw at / eat at / wear away
erode (v.)
remove soil or rock;
Rain eroded the terraces
Synonyms: eat away / fret
From wordnet.princeton.edu