ATTRITION (Lat. attritio, formed from atterere, to rub away), a rubbing away; a term used in pathology and geology. Theologians have also distinguished "attrition" from "contrition" in the matter of sin, as an imperfect stage in the process of repentance; attrition being due to servile fear of the consequences of sin, contrition to filial fear of God and hatred of sin for His sake. It has been held among the Roman Catholics that in the sacrament of penance attrition becomes contrition.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)