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1. 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.
3. Roman Catholic Church Repentance for sin motivated by fear of punishment rather than by love of God.

[Middle 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- in Indo-European roots.]

at·tri′tion·al adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.attritional - relating to or caused by attrition
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Within these totals, attritional loss ratios have improved," he said.
NEW ZEALAND were resuming on 211 for five today after the end of an attritional innings was curtailed by rain, prompting their World Cup semi-final against India to be taken to a reserve day.
Benin's long wait for a first win at the Africa Cup of Nations was extended Saturday by Guinea-Bissau following an attritional goalless draw in Ismailia, the tournament's third in a row.
Mrs May has been dull, attritional and mired in Brexit while the country fell apart.
"When we are in form, we can compete against anyone but the season is attritional and it's relentless so it's a matter of keeping the boys fresh.
Summary: The 28-year-old came through an attritional battle against 27-year-old Nicaraguan.
The good news for Lloyd's in 2018 is that pricing improvements were seen across the market, which should provide improved results going forward and reduce attritional - or non-catastrophe - losses, indicated Parry during a press briefing in London to discuss the results.
CHRISN36 THIS is a game expected to be an attritional war of the gainline.
But while skirmishes can be balletic, each battlefield is a strictly 2D plane, stunting the opportunity for dramatic manoeuvres and ultimately leading to grimly attritional face-offs rather than exhilarating combat.
A grim, attritional draw and nailed on last on Match of the Day.
The underlying results were quite strong with an attritional combined ratio of 85.8% year to date as a result of our diversified portfolio."
It's become one of the most attritional positions in rugby - if not the most attritional, and in fact Leavy is only returning to full training this week after suffering a sternum injury in the second Test against Australia in June.