noun \ˈfrik-shən\

: the act of rubbing one thing against another

: the force that causes a moving object to slow down when it is touching another object

: disagreement or tension between people or groups of people

Full Definition of FRICTION

a :  the rubbing of one body against another
b :  the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact
:  the clashing between two persons or parties of opposed views :  disagreement
:  sound produced by the movement of air through a narrow constriction in the mouth or glottis
fric·tion·less \-ləs\ adjective
fric·tion·less·ly adverb

Examples of FRICTION

  1. the friction of sandpaper on wood
  2. Oil in a car engine reduces friction.
  3. It was difficult to reach an agreement because of the friction between the two sides.

Origin of FRICTION

earlier, therapeutic rubbing of the limbs, from Middle French, from Latin friction-, frictio, from fricare to rub; akin to Latin friare to crumble, and perhaps to Sanskrit bhrīṇanti they injure
First Known Use: 1704

Other Physics Terms

amplitude, centrifugal, centripetal, convection, gradient, hysteresis, kinetic, lase, quantum

Rhymes with FRICTION


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Force that resists sliding or rolling of one solid object over another. Some friction is beneficial, such as the traction used to walk without slipping. Most friction, though, is undesirable opposition to motion, such as between moving parts of machines. For example, about 20% of the work done by an automobile engine is needed to overcome friction between moving parts. Friction is a result of attractive forces between the contact regions of two bodies, and the amount of friction is almost independent of the area of contact. Kinetic friction arises between surfaces in relative motion, static friction acts between surfaces at rest with respect to each other, and rolling friction occurs when an object rolls over a surface.


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