verb (used with object), at·trit·ted, at·trit·ting.

to wear down (an opposing military force) by numerical superiority in troops or firepower.

Origin of attrit

First recorded in 1750–60; back formation from attrition Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for attrit


verb -trits, -tritting or -tritted US slang (tr)

to wear down or dispose of gradually
to kill

Word Origin for attrit

C18: back formation from attrition
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

Word Origin and History for attrit

1956, U.S. Air Force back-formation from attrition which attained currency during the Vietnam War. (A 17c. attempt at a verb produced attrite). Related: Attrited; attriting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper