1. surface resistance to relative motion, as of a body sliding or rolling.
  2. the rubbing of the surface of one body against that of another.
  3. 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 formsfric·tion·less, adjectivefric·tion·less·ly, adverbin·ter·fric·tion, nounnon·fric·tion, nounself-fric·tion, noun

Synonyms for friction Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for non-friction


  1. a resistance encountered when one body moves relative to another body with which it is in contact
  2. the act, effect, or an instance of rubbing one object against another
  3. disagreement or conflict; discord
  4. phonetics the hissing element of a speech sound, such as a fricative
  5. perfumed alcohol used on the hair to stimulate the scalp
Derived Formsfrictional, adjectivefrictionless, adjective

Word Origin for friction

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

Word Origin and History for non-friction



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

non-friction in Medicine


  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.

non-friction in Science


  1. 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.

non-friction in Culture


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.