March 03, 2017
corrode (verb)
\kuh-ROHD\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to eat or be eaten away by degrees as if by gnawing
How do you use it?
Darien tried to turn the flashlight on, but he discovered that it wasn't working because the batteries in it had corroded.
Are you a word wiz?

The link between the Latin word "corrodere," meaning "to gnaw to pieces," and our word "corrode" is pretty clear. Can you guess which answer gives another meaning of "corrode"?

To see the connection between the two meanings of "corrode," think about how something getting eaten away by degrees would gradually weaken and eventually be destroyed. Even though these meanings are connected, we use them in different situations. We use the "eat away" sense of "corrode" to talk about physical things, like metal, that can become corroded over time. When we use the "weaken" sense of "corrode," it is most often to talk about things we can't touch, like feelings or traditions.
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