An abrasion is a scrape. An abrasion can happen to a person, as in a skinned knee, or to an object, as in what you get when you apply sandpaper to wood.

The noun abrasion comes to us from the Latin abradere, which means “scrape away” or “shave off.” Any area that shows evidence of scratching or scraping can be called an abrasion, like that spot on the front bumper of your car from when you cut it too close pulling into the gas station. Abrasion can also mean the process of friction causing scratches, as in: "the abrasion of everyone sliding chairs on the floor left terrible marks."

Primary Meanings of abrasion

erosion by friction
an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off
Full Definitions of abrasion

n erosion by friction

attrition, corrasion, detrition
Type of:
eating away, eroding, erosion, wearing, wearing away
(geology) the mechanical process of wearing or grinding something down (as by particles washing over it)

n the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice

attrition, detrition, grinding
Type of:
friction, rubbing
the resistance encountered when one body is moved in contact with another

n an abraded area where the skin is torn or worn off

excoriation, scrape, scratch
a superficial abrasion
rope burn
abrasion (usually on the hands) caused by friction from a rope
Type of:
lesion, wound
an injury to living tissue (especially an injury involving a cut or break in the skin)

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