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From Middle French friction and directly from Latin frictionem, nom. frictio (a rubbing, rubbing down).


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɪkʃən̩/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪkʃən


friction (countable and uncountable, plural frictions)

  1. The rubbing of one object or surface against another.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame.
  2. Conflict, as between persons having dissimilar ideas or interests; clash.
    • 2017 January 14, “Thailand's new king rejects the army's proposed constitution”, in The Economist[1]:
      Thais have been watching for signs of friction between the armed forces and the monarchy—the country's two biggest sources of political power—since the death in October of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King Vajiralongkorn's long-reigning father.
  3. (physics) A force that resists the relative motion or tendency to such motion of two bodies in contact.
    • 1839, Denison Olmsted, A Compendium of Astronomy Page 95
      Secondly, When a body is once in motion it will continue to move forever, unless something stops it. When a ball is struck on the surface of the earth, the friction of the earth and the resistance of the air soon stop its motion.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]



From Latin frictionem, nom. frictio (a rubbing, rubbing down)



friction f (plural frictions)

  1. friction: the rubbing, the conflict or the physics force.

Further reading[edit]



friction (uncountable)

  1. friction