1560s, "a chafing, rubbing," from 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, rub down," which is of uncertain origin. Watkins suggests possibly from PIE root *bhreie- "to rub, break." De Vaan suggests a PIE bhriH-o- "to cut" and compares Sanskrit bhrinanti, Old Church Slavonic briti "to shave." Sense of "resistance to motion" is from 1722; figurative sense of "disagreement, clash, lack of harmony, mutual irritation" first recorded 1761. Related: Frictional.
biennial plant with an esculent root, native to the British Isles and extensively cultivated as a vegetable, 1710, from French salsifis, earlier sercifi, sassify (16c.), which is probably from Italian erba salsifica, from Old Italian salsifica, a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Latin sal "salt" (from PIE root *sal- "salt") + fricare "to rub" (see friction). Among the native names is goatsbeard.
"easily crumbled or pulverized; easily reduced to powder," 1560s, from French friable (16c.) and directly from Latin friabilis "easily crumbled or broken," from friare "rub away, crumble into small pieces," related to fricare "to rub" (see friction). Related: Friability. "Confusion between the common word meaning crumbly & the -able adjective from fry is not likely enough to justify the irregular spelling fryable for the latter ...." [Fowler].
c. 1500, "trade, commerce," from French trafique (15c.), from Italian traffico (14c.), from trafficare "carry on trade," of uncertain origin, perhaps from a Vulgar Latin *transfricare "to rub across," from Latin trans "across" (see trans-) + fricare "to rub" (see friction), with the original sense of the Italian verb being "touch repeatedly, handle."
Or the second element may be an unexplained alteration of Latin facere "to make, do." Klein suggests ultimate derivation of the Italian word from Arabic tafriq "distribution." Meaning "people and vehicles coming and going" first recorded 1825. Traffic jam is by 1908, ousting earlier traffic block (1895). Traffic circle is from 1938.
Old English fretan "devour, feed upon, consume," from Proto-Germanic compound *fra-etan "to eat up," from *fra- "completely" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through") + *etan "to eat" (from PIE root *ed- "to eat"). Cognates include Dutch vreten, Old High German frezzan, German fressen, Gothic fraitan.
Used of monsters and Vikings; in Middle English used of animals' eating. Notion of "wear away by rubbing or scraping" (c. 1200) might have come to this word by sound-association with Anglo-French forms of Old French froter "to rub, wipe; beat, thrash," which is from Latin fricare "to rub" (see friction). Figurative use is from c. 1200, of emotions, sins, vices, etc., "to worry, consume, vex" someone or someone's heart or mind, from either the "eating" or the "rubbing" sense. Intransitive sense "be worried, vex oneself" is by 1550s. Modern German still distinguishes essen for humans and fressen for animals. Related: Fretted; fretting. As a noun, early 15c., "a gnawing," also "the wearing effect" of awareness of wrongdoing, fear, etc.