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-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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