Pronunciation: (u-trish'un), [key]
1. a reduction or decrease in numbers, size, or strength: Our club has had a high rate of attrition because so many members have moved away.
2. a wearing down or weakening of resistance, esp. as a result of continuous pressure or harassment: The enemy surrounded the town and conducted a war of attrition.
3. a gradual reduction in work force without firing of personnel, as when workers resign or retire and are not replaced.
4. the act of rubbing against something; friction.
5. a wearing down or away by friction; abrasion.
6. Theol.imperfect contrition. See under contrition (def. 2).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.