Physics. surface resistance to relative motion, as of a body sliding or rolling.
the rubbing of the surface of one body against that of another: Rubber on pavement has more friction than steel wheel on steel rail.
dissension or conflict between people, nations, etc., because of differing ideas, wishes, etc.: Friction between family members can escalate during a heat wave, as extreme weather can cause tempers to fray.
- fric·tion·less, adjective
- fric·tion·less·ly, adverb
- in·ter·fric·tion, noun
- non·fric·tion, noun
- self-fric·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
British Dictionary definitions for friction
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
- frictional, adjective
- frictionless, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for friction
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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for friction
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.