AskDefine | Define attrition

Dictionary Definition



1 erosion by friction [syn: abrasion, corrasion, detrition]
2 the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice [syn: grinding, abrasion, detrition]
3 sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation [syn: contrition, contriteness]
4 a wearing down to weaken or destroy; "a war of attrition"
5 the act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction

User Contributed Dictionary



From attritionem, from the verb attritus, past participle of atterere, from ad- + terere.


  1. wearing or grinding down by friction
  2. A gradual, natural reduction in membership or personnel, as through retirement, resignation, or death
  3. The loss of participants during an experiment


wearing by friction
reduction in membership
  • French: départs volontaires (m)
  • Japanese: 消耗 (shōmō)
policy of decruitment
  • French: départs volontaires (m)

Extensive Definition

Attrition may refer to: (No. of Employees Left x 100) / ((Opening Balance + New Joinee) / 100)
proper names:

See also

attrition in German: Attrition
attrition in French: Attrition

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abatement, ablation, abrasion, abrasive, absorption, apologies, assimilation, atomization, attenuation, ayenbite of inwit, beating, bitterness, blunting, brecciation, buffing, burning up, burnishing, chafe, chafing, comminution, consumption, contriteness, contrition, corrosion, crumbling, crushing, curtailment, cut, cutting, damping, deadening, debilitation, decrease, decrement, deliquescence, depletion, depreciation, derogation, detraction, detrition, devitalization, digestion, dilution, diminution, dip, disintegration, disparagement, dissipation, dissolution, drain, dressing, dulling, eating up, effemination, enervation, enfeeblement, erasure, erosion, evisceration, exhaustion, expending, expenditure, extenuation, extraction, fatigue, filing, finishing, fragmentation, fretting, galling, granulation, granulization, grating, grazing, grief, grinding, impairment, impoverishment, inanition, ingestion, languishment, lessening, levigation, limation, loss, mashing, mitigation, penance, penitently, polishing, pounding, powdering, rasping, reduction, regret, regretfulness, regrets, regretting, relaxation, remission, remorse, remorse of conscience, remorsefulness, repentance, repining, retraction, retrenchment, rubbing away, rue, ruth, sandblasting, sanding, scouring, scrape, scraping, scratch, scratching, scrub, scrubbing, scuff, shame, shamefacedness, shamefastness, shamefulness, shining, shortening, shredding, shrinkage, slackening, smashing, smoothing, softening, sorriness, sorrow, spending, squandering, thinning, trituration, truncation, using up, wastage, waste, wastefulness, wasting away, weakening, wear, wear and tear, wearing away, wearing down, wistfulness
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