attrition(redirected from attritive)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
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.]
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.
1. the act of wearing away or the state of being worn away, as by friction
2. constant wearing down to weaken or destroy (often in the phrase war of attrition)
3. (Industrial Relations & HR Terms) Also called: natural wastage a decrease in the size of the workforce of an organization achieved by not replacing employees who retire or resign
4. (Physical Geography) geography the grinding down of rock particles by friction during transportation by water, wind, or ice. Compare abrasion3, corrasion
5. (Theology) theol sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation, esp as contrasted with contrition, which arises purely from love of God
[C14: from Late Latin attrītiō a rubbing against something, from Latin atterere to weaken, from terere to rub]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength.
2. a wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment: a war of attrition.
3. a gradual reduction in work force as when workers retire and are not replaced.
4. the act of rubbing against something; friction.
5. a wearing down or away by friction; abrasion.
[1325–75; Middle English < Latin attrītiō friction]
at•tri′tive (əˈtraɪ tɪv) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
The reduction of the effectiveness of a force caused by loss of personnel and materiel.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||attrition - erosion by friction|
|2.||attrition - the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice|
|3.||attrition - sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation|
|4.||attrition - a wearing down to weaken or destroy; "a war of attrition"|
|5.||attrition - the act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
noun wearing down, harrying, weakening, harassment, thinning out, attenuation, debilitation a war of attrition against the government
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
war of attrition → guerre f d'usure
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995