- An example of attrition is a cliff face eroding due to rain and wind.
- An example of attrition is one army wearing down another throughout the course of a war.
- the act or process of wearing away or grinding down by friction
- any gradual wearing or weakening, esp. to the point of exhaustion: a siege is a battle of attrition
- loss of personnel in an organization in the normal course of events, as by retirement
- Theol. repentance that is not perfect because not prompted solely by sorrow for having offended God
Origin of attritionMiddle English attricioun from Classical Latin attritio from attritus, past participle of atterere, to wear, rub away from ad-, to + terere, to rub: see throw
- A rubbing away or wearing down by friction.
- a. A gradual reduction in number or strength because of stress or military action.b. A gradual reduction in personnel or membership because of resignation, retirement, or death, often viewed in contrast to reduction from layoffs.
- Roman Catholic Church Repentance for sin motivated by fear of punishment rather than by love of God.
Origin of attritionMiddle English attricioun regret, breaking from Old French attrition abrasion from Late Latin attrītiō attrītiōn- act of rubbing against from Latin attrītus past participle of atterere to rub against ad- against ; see ad- . terere to rub ; see terə-1 in Indo-European roots.
(countable and uncountable, plural attritions)
- wearing or grinding down by friction
- the gradual reduction in a tangible or intangible resource due to causes that are passive and do not involve productive use of the resource.
- (human resources) A gradual, natural reduction in membership or personnel, as through retirement, resignation, or death
- (sciences) The loss of participants during an experiment
- (theology) Imperfect contrition or remorse
From Latin attritio (“a rubbing against”), from the verb attritus, past participle of atterere (“to wear”), from ad- (“to, towards”) + terere (“to rub”).