Definition of Attrition

1. Noun. Erosion by friction.

Exact synonyms: Abrasion, Corrasion, Detrition
Generic synonyms: Eating Away, Eroding, Erosion, Wearing, Wearing Away
Derivative terms: Abrade, Attritional, Corrade

2. Noun. The wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice.
Exact synonyms: Abrasion, Detrition, Grinding
Generic synonyms: Friction, Rubbing
Derivative terms: Abrade, Attritional, Grind

3. Noun. Sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation.
Exact synonyms: Contriteness, Contrition
Generic synonyms: Regret, Rue, Ruefulness, Sorrow
Derivative terms: Contrite

4. Noun. A wearing down to weaken or destroy. "A war of attrition"
Generic synonyms: Decrease, Drop-off, Lessening
Derivative terms: Attritional

5. Noun. The act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction.
Generic synonyms: Detrition, Friction, Rubbing
Derivative terms: Attritional

Definition of Attrition

1. n. The act of rubbing together; friction; the act of wearing by friction, or by rubbing substances together; abrasion.

Definition of Attrition

1. Noun. wearing or grinding down by friction ¹

2. Noun. the gradual reduction in a tangible or intangible resource due to causes that are passive and do not involve productive use of the resource. ¹

3. Noun. (human resources) A gradual, natural reduction in membership or personnel, as through retirement, resignation, or death ¹

4. Noun. (sciences) The loss of participants during an experiment ¹

5. Noun. (theology) Imperfect contrition or remorse ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Attrition

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Attrition

1. 1. The act of rubbing together; friction; the act of wearing by friction, or by rubbing substances together; abrasion. "Effected by attrition of the inward stomach." (Arbuthnot) 2. The state of being worn. 3. Grief for sin arising only from fear of punishment or feelings of shame. See Contrition. Origin: L. Attritio: cf. F. Attrition. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Attrition

attrition (current term)
attrition damage
attrition rate

Literary usage of Attrition

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Boot Camps for Juvenile Offenders: An Implementation Evaluation of Three by Blair B. Borque (1997)
"The remaining differences in attrition were largely attributable to ... Table 5.4 shows the program attrition occurring at monthly intervals during ..."

2. Adult Literacy And New Technologies: Tools For A Lifetime by Office of Technology Assessment (1994)
"1° The high, rate of student attrition was placed at the top of the list of ... B. Allen Quigley, "The Disappearing Student: The attrition Problem in Adult ..."

3. The Cambridge Modern History by Adolphus William Ward, George Walter Prothero (1907)
"which came to be drawn between attrition and Contrition. Until the thirteenth century it was always held that Contrition or a condition of real sorrow for ..."

4. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London by Royal Society (Great Britain) (1896)
"An Experimental Investigation of the Laws of attrition. ... The amount removed by attrition under otherwise similar circumstances is proportional to the ..."

5. The Whole Works of the Right Rev. Jeremy Taylor by Jeremy Taylor, Charles Page Eden, Reginald Heber, Alexander Taylor (1850)
"If it be said that absolution changes fear into love, attrition into contrition, a Saul into a David, a Judas into a John, a Simon Magus into Simon Peter; ..."

6. The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the by Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wynne (1913)
"If attrition is sufficient for justification in the Sacrament of Penance, ... The question has also been asked apropos of attrition, when one receives a ..."

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