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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 ?
Asked about the "unfortunate after taste" of Ireland's World Cup campaign, Doak said: "From our point of view, it was quite an attritional World Cup.
It's a different type of cricket to England, there'll be huge amounts of spin being bowled and slow, attritional cricket.
Given that those who rule the roost in union have insisted in turning it into American football what with its attritional values, the juxtaposition is interesting, especially as head injuries in gridiron (a game I also enjoy) are falling, but increasing dramatically in rugby.
Adam Marshall Even if we can rustle up a team for Saturday the England game will be attritional and more wounded will follow so we might as well send the under 21s out again Fiji and Australia
Jimmy Adams hit an attritional fifty in tricky conditions as relegation-threatened Hampshire edged the first day of their LV=County Championship Division One clash with Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl.
It was an attritional day but I was pretty happy with the way it came out for me.
And an attritional battle is expected in Cape Town.
What worked in 2009-2012 is irrelevant now but if you keep playing attritional cricket you produce attritional characters who can't think any other way.
His beaten opponent was keen to hype the possibility of a third fight but in reality it was an attritional bout which was slow to catch fire and may struggle to engage the interest of the public for a decisive third meeting.
Maria Sharapova survived an attritional battle against Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru to reach the third round but Agnieszka Radwanska became the first major casualty.
LANCASHIRE have their backs against the wall again after another below par batting display during yesterday's attritional opening day against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Devvarman held his service game and then broke Chen in the next to win 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/3), 1-6, 6-2, 9-7 after an attritional battle that lasted more than four hours.