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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.]

at·tri′tion·al adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.attritional - relating to or caused by attrition
References in periodicals archive ?
It'll probably be quite attritional in the way that Ireland play and depending on the weather conditions.
Excluding catastrophe losses, reinstatement premiums and favorable prior year loss development, the calendar year attritional combined ratio was 85.
02 Contract Notice (below OJEU threshold): Repair of attritional damage to 18No.
ACCIES ARE LOSING IT One point out of 15 for Accies, four defeats on the bounce - the early promise of their season looks like falling back into another attritional campaign.
Despite a minute's silence at 11am, and a drinks break at noon, Durham got through 33 overs in an attritional first session.
But on Saturday night, the WBC International champion fought 12 gruelling, attritional rounds with Londoner John Ryder to earn a split decision victory.
We're forecast another 3-4mm of rain and sleet on top of the approximately 25mm we've had since 7am yesterday, and while it will clearly be attritional, it's not deep ground.
Georgia have a tradition of strong packs and as expected he is a strong, scrummaging prop and brings a wealth of senior experience having spent several years in the French Top 14, which is a notoriously attritional league.
Arnold spark The Terminator was at Bayern v Cologne but after coming from a dystopian world of attritional warfare he maybe should have taken that red and white scarf to Hamilton v Inverness.
It is an attritional year because of its longevity.
His story - and so many others - is what will make Northern Ireland's attritional football so easy to watch over these next couple of weeks.
With neither woman venturing often to the net or able to dominate the long groundstroke rallies, the first set turned into an attritional contest that featured seven breaks of serve.