Attrition – Definition & Meaning

Attrition is a term that is often used in the context of human resources and employee management. It refers to the gradual reduction in the number of employees in an organization due to a variety of reasons, such as retirement, resignation, or termination. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of attrition, its origin, and its associations.


The term “attrition” is defined as the gradual reduction or weakening of something over time. In the context of human resources, attrition refers to the natural reduction in the number of employees in an organization due to various reasons.


The word “attrition” has its roots in the Latin word “attritio,” which means “rubbing against.” The term was first used in the context of military warfare, where it referred to the gradual wearing down of the enemy’s forces through sustained attacks and battles.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, attrition is defined as “the process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure.” Merriam-Webster defines it as “a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death.”


Attrition is often associated with employee turnover and retention in the workplace. It can be a natural part of the employment cycle, as employees retire or move on to other opportunities. However, high levels of attrition can be a sign of deeper issues within an organization, such as poor management or a toxic work culture.


Some synonyms for attrition include erosion, depletion, reduction, and wear and tear.


Antonyms for attrition include growth, expansion, increase, and recruitment.

The same root words

Other words that share the same root as attrition include “attrite,” which means to wear down or weaken, and “contrite,” which means deeply remorseful or repentant.

Example Sentences

  1. The company has been experiencing high levels of attrition due to poor management and low employee morale.
  2. The attrition of the enemy’s forces was a result of sustained attacks and strategic maneuvers.
  3. The attrition rate for new hires has been steadily increasing over the past year.
  4. The company implemented a new retention strategy to combat the high levels of attrition among its employees.
  5. The constant attrition of the coastline by the ocean waves has resulted in significant erosion.
Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Words Wiki
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: