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[frik-shuh n] /ˈfrɪk ʃən/
surface resistance to relative motion, as of a body sliding or rolling.
the rubbing of the surface of one body against that of another.
dissension or conflict between persons, nations, etc., because of differing ideas, wishes, etc.
Origin of friction
1575-85; < Latin frictiōn- (stem of frictiō) a rubbing, equivalent to frict(us) (past participle of fricāre) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
frictionless, adjective
frictionlessly, adverb
interfriction, noun
nonfriction, noun
self-friction, noun
3. discord, dissidence, clash, antagonism, contention, wrangling. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for frictionless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Because, to the extent that it is frictionless, to that extent it ceases to possess mass.

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper
  • And the Big House ran on in its frictionless, happy, and remorseless way.

  • Moreover, the exercise of any easy, frictionless habit is pleasurable.


    John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • This may possibly be a correct representation of what would occur on an ideal globe entirely covered with a frictionless ocean.

    Time and Tide

    Robert S. (Robert Stawell) Ball
  • We are to “work in to one another,” smoothly, congenially, in a frictionless peace.

  • It is logically impossible to reconcile a frictionless aether, with their results relative to the pressure of light waves.

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper
  • We will therefore consider the problem of the existence of a frictionless medium from the philosophical standpoint.

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper
  • What is the testimony of our own personal observation and experiments to such an impossible entity as a frictionless medium?

    Aether and Gravitation

    William George Hooper
British Dictionary definitions for frictionless


a resistance encountered when one body moves relative to another body with which it is in contact
the act, effect, or an instance of rubbing one object against another
disagreement or conflict; discord
(phonetics) the hissing element of a speech sound, such as a fricative
perfumed alcohol used on the hair to stimulate the scalp
Derived Forms
frictional, adjective
frictionless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Latin frictiō a rubbing, from fricāre to rub, rub down; related to Latin friāre to crumble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for frictionless



1560s, "a chafing, rubbing," from Middle French friction (16c.) and directly from Latin frictionem (nominative frictio) "a rubbing, rubbing down," noun of action from past participle stem of fricare "to rub," of uncertain origin. Sense of "resistance to motion" is from 1722; figurative sense of "disagreement, clash" first recorded 1761. Related: Frictional.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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frictionless in Medicine

friction fric·tion (frĭk'shən)

  1. The rubbing of one object or surface against another.

  2. A physical force that resists the relative motion or tendency to such motion of two bodies in contact.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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frictionless in Science
A force on objects or substances in contact with each other that resists motion of the objects or substances relative to each other. ◇ Static friction arises between two objects that are not in motion with respect to each other, as for example between a cement block and a wooden floor. It increases to counterbalance forces that would move the objects, up to a certain maximum level of force, at which point the objects will begin moving. It is measured as the maximum force the bodies will sustain before motion occurs. ◇ Kinetic friction arises between bodies that are in motion with respect to each other, as for example the force that works against sliding a cement block along a wooden floor. Between two hard surfaces, the kinetic friction is usually somewhat lower than the static friction, meaning that more force is required to set the objects in motion than to keep them in motion. See also drag.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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frictionless in Culture

friction definition

The resistance of an object to the medium through which or on which it is traveling, such as air, water, or a solid floor.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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