From Middle French erosion, from Latin ērōsiō ("eating away"), derived from ērōdō.
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."
Modern English dictionary
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