ETYM Latin attritio: cf. French attrition.
1. A wearing down to weaken or destroy.
2. Sorrow for sin arising from fear of damnation; SYN. contrition, contriteness.
3. The act of rubbing together; wearing something down by friction.
Wearing away; rubbing or scraping; Theology, incomplete repentance due to fear of punishment. war of attrition, campaign of wearing down enemy's morale and resistance.
In earth science, the process by which particles of rock being transported by river, wind, or sea are rounded and gradually reduced in size by being struck against one another.
The rounding of particles is a good indication of how far they have been transported. This is particularly true for particles carried by rivers, which become more rounded as the distance downstream increases.