friction

noun
fric·​tion | \ ˈfrik-shən How to pronounce friction (audio) \

Definition of friction

1a : the rubbing of one body against another the friction of sandpaper on wood
b : the force that resists relative motion between two bodies in contact oil in a car engine reduces friction
2 : the clashing between two persons or parties of opposed views : disagreement friction between neighbors friction between state and federal authorities
3 : sound produced by the movement of air through a narrow constriction in the mouth or glottis

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Other Words from friction

frictionless \ ˈfrik-​shən-​ləs How to pronounce frictionless (audio) \ adjective
frictionlessly adverb

Examples of friction in a Sentence

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

Economic friction between the U.S. and India isn’t new. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "The U.S. and India Stumble Toward a Trade War," 27 June 2019 That’s because tidal friction isn’t the only thing affecting Earth’s rotation; there are a few countervailing factors. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The summer solstice is coming: 9 things to know about the longest day of the year," 14 June 2019 Later work led by Sobolev used numerical models to confirm the importance of friction in the Andes' growth. Ben Horton, National Geographic, "What jumpstarted Earth's plate tectonics? New clues point to ancient glaciers.," 5 June 2019 Escalating trade friction with the U.S. is spooking Canadian households and sending consumer confidence into a slide. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Navarro stems stock sell-off by discounting trade war," 26 June 2018 Love is Dead is sometimes heavy-handed in both its joyful tone and cynical sentiments, but the friction is often fascinating. Philly.com, "Album reviews: Charlie Puth, Chvrches, Kelly Willis," 24 May 2018 In San Antonio, with more humidity, there’s less oil and the friction is different. San Antonio Express-News, "High schoolers drawn to the bowling sciences," 25 Mar. 2018 The friction in the Bullet Club is one of the most compelling storylines in wrestling, and the ability to play out that story arc on Being The Elite is being presented in a format that is original and organic. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "How The Young Bucks Transformed Themselves Into Wrestling's Best Storytellers," 2 Mar. 2018 May’s numbers showed the region was resisting global economic slowdowns, trade frictions and other issues, said Lynn Reaser, chief economist for the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego unemployment falls to 2.8%," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'friction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of friction

1704, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for friction

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for friction

The first known use of friction was in 1704

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More Definitions for friction

friction

noun

English Language Learners Definition of friction

: 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

friction

noun
fric·​tion | \ ˈfrik-shən How to pronounce friction (audio) \

Kids Definition of friction

1 : the rubbing of one thing against another
2 : resistance to motion between bodies in contact Oiling the parts of the machine reduces friction.
3 : disagreement among persons or groups

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Comments on friction

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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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