Definition of friction in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.

    ‘a lubrication system which reduces friction’
    • ‘Light rail uses up to 80 per cent less energy than buses as it encounters less surface friction.’
    • ‘Less friction also reduces the stress imposed on the material.’
    • ‘The marbles are rounded and have less internal friction to resist shear.’
    • ‘If it wasn't for friction between the tyres and the road, driving a car would be like trying to drive on an ice rink.’
    • ‘That slows the ball down because of the increased friction the ball encounters.’
    • ‘Drag results mostly from friction between the moving wing surface and the air.’
    • ‘Minimizing the load carried by half the pistons and connecting rods trims friction and reduces energy losses to the cooling system.’
    • ‘The mass of the block, the applied force, and the coefficient of friction can be altered.’
    • ‘After taping his stick, Huselius uses a sharp knife to cut the tape off the bottom edge of the blade to reduce drag and friction on the ice.’
    • ‘But the lateral motion reduces the rotational friction, so that the spinning persists longer.’
    • ‘As wind passes over the water's surface, friction forces it to ripple.’
    • ‘Any moving object on Earth experiences a force, called friction, which opposes its motion.’
    • ‘These substances reduce friction between the moving parts of equipment.’
    • ‘That will produce enough side roll to get the ball to hook once it encounters friction.’
    • ‘Ponsse notes that this arrangement provides an excellent grip on the tree stem and reduces friction.’
    • ‘The coefficient of static friction is typically larger than the coefficient of kinetic friction.’
    • ‘You need to apply a great pressure to finally break the static friction and start the grease moving.’
    • ‘To reduce friction on the spheres, they are levitated by voltages applied to saucer-shaped electrodes.’
    • ‘Space weather also has an indirect effect on satellites through increased atmospheric drag, or friction.’
    • ‘Alloys based on tin, cadmium, copper, or silver are used to make bearings which reduce friction between two sliding surfaces.’
    abrasion, abrading, rubbing, chafing, grating, rasping, scraping, excoriation, grinding, gnawing, eating away, wearing away, wearing down
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    1. 1.1The action of one surface or object rubbing against another.
      ‘the friction of braking’
      • ‘The friction between my skin and the service weapon concealed at my waist became more and more unbearable, but I knew I was being targeted.’
      • ‘The models are simple in that they do not take account of the effects of multiple faulting, of fault friction, or of erosion.’
      • ‘Divergence may result from friction with the Earth's surface.’
      • ‘This is because the cue ball can pick up top spin due to friction with the cloth.’
      • ‘The rash is most commonly found where there is friction with clothes.’
      • ‘It didn't heat up from friction with the skin, and it protected against hard blows and blasts.’
      • ‘Naptha, often recommended, can ignite, just from a spark from friction or rubbing.’
      • ‘The breaking of the rope happened because of the friction with the steel plate on the pulley where the rope is fixed.’
      • ‘The marks are caused by the speed of the car as well as other factors such as braking force, friction with the road and impacts with other vehicles.’
      • ‘Shooting hard can cause the cue tip leather to loose friction with the cue ball, causing it to jump rather than spin.’
    2. 1.2Conflict or animosity caused by a clash of wills, temperaments, or opinions.
      ‘a considerable amount of friction between father and son’
      • ‘He saw the Commonwealth Games as a means to an end, but admits even making it to New Zealand in 1974 caused friction between him and his coach.’
      • ‘There were reports about friction between you and the mayor.’
      • ‘Despite the occasional friction between the old timers and the young upstarts, all the dancers come together for the old favourites.’
      • ‘There has been friction between the two agencies, mainly over jurisdiction.’
      • ‘In reading this account, we come to realise that the fights and friction between different groups in the hospital setting are universal and ubiquitous.’
      • ‘For the next half-century, differing interpretations of the treaty caused friction between the two countries.’
      • ‘The issue has been a source of friction between the two sides.’
      • ‘One other troubling situation she confronted was friction between the cultural groups.’
      • ‘There was further friction between the companies.’
      • ‘The best content comes from creative friction between program makers and management.’
      • ‘Naturally, there is some friction between the young men, but there are some unspoken truths and tragedies that lead to the family splitting up, for good.’
      • ‘This could cause friction between landowners and visitors.’
      • ‘There had always been friction between my parents and me.’
      • ‘He also found tension and friction between those two over who was actually in control of the prison.’
      • ‘The transition generated friction between the school's old and new staffs and hurt those students whose school was being phased out.’
      • ‘A ship carrying unknown contents fails to clue the viewer in to the urgency ostensibly causing friction between the characters.’
      • ‘But there is much friction between the five people on the base and the rescued explorer, who wants all the glory for himself.’
      • ‘The Arcot House is different from most royal houses in the country as there is no friction between the government and this former ruling family.’
      • ‘Some of the scenes of domestic friction between family members are obviously written from recent experience, as they ring resoundingly true.’
      • ‘All too often there can be friction between conventional farmers and organic producers, which is a growing cause of resentment.’
      discord, disharmony, disunity, strife, conflict, disagreement, dissension, dissent, opposition, variance, clashing, contention, dispute, disputation, arguing, argument, quarrelling, bickering, squabbling, wrangling, fighting, feuding, rivalry
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Mid 16th century (denoting chafing or rubbing of the body or limbs, formerly much used in medical treatment): via French from Latin frictio(n-), from fricare to rub.