Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: attritio, from atterere 'to rub against', from ad- 'to' + terere 'to rub'

attrition

noun
     
at‧tri‧tion [uncountable] formal
1 the process of gradually destroying your enemy or making them weak by attacking them continuously:
2 especially American English when people leave a company or course of study and are not replaced:
Staff reductions could be achieved through attrition and early retirements.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary