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attrition (noun) a wearing away; a gradual weakening (usually of the army ranks by constant enemy attack); a reduction in the staff without removal.

Attrition is usually the weakening of an army by the repeated attacks and harassment by the enemy. The usual phrase in which 'attrition' is used is, 'a war of attrition,' in which one of the sides is made weaker by repeated attacks by the other side. Attrition is also downsizing the staff of an organization without removing any one from service.

  • The organization was losing business to its competitors so downsizing the staff was inevitable, and the organization resorted to attrition by allowing its employees to retire on their own for an attractive premature retirement package.
  • The policy of attrition of the company while making some jobless, helped others who secured new jobs have additional income.
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Last Modified : 11-May 2009
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