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.
A siege is a battle of attrition.
Origin of attrition
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Latin attritio (“a rubbing against”), from the verb attritus, past participle of atterere (“to wear”), from ad- (“to, towards”) + terere (“to rub”).