Corrósion. n.s. [corrodo, Latin.] The power of eating or wearing away by degrees.
Corrosion is a particular species of dissolution of bodies, either by an acid, or a saline menstruum. It is almost wholly designed for the resolution of bodies most strongly compacted, as bones and metals; so that the menstruums here employed, have a considerable moment or force. These liquors, whether acid or urinous, are nothing but salts dissolved in a little phlegm; therefore these being solid, and consequently containing a considerable quantity of matter, do both attract one another more, and are also more attracted by the particles of the body to be dissolved; so when the more solid bodies are put into saline menstruums, the attraction is stronger than in other solutions; and the motion, which is always proportional to the attraction, is more violent: so that we may easily conceive, when the motion is in such a manner increased, it should drive the salts into the pores of the bodies, and open and loosen their cohesion, though ever so firm. Quincy.
If there be any medicine that purgeth, and hath neither of the first two manifest qualities, it is to be held suspected as a kind of poison; for that it worketh either by corrosion, or by a secret malignity and enmity to nature. Bacon's Nat. History.
That corrosion and dissolution of bodies, even the most solid and durable, which is vulgarly ascribed to the air, is caused merely by the action of water upon them; the air being so far from injuring and preying upon the bodies it environs, that it contributes to their security and preservation. Woodw.