Etymology
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tribadism (n.)
"lesbian sexual activity," 1811, with -ism + tribade (n.), c. 1600, "a lesbian," from French tribade (16c.) or directly from Latin tribas, from Greek tribas, from tribein "to rub, rub down, wear away," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn." In reference to a specific sexual technique, from 1965.
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*tere- (1)

*terə-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to rub, turn," with derivatives referring to twisting, also to boring, drilling, piercing; and to the rubbing of cereal grain to remove the husks, and thus to threshing.

It forms all or part of: atresia; attorn; attorney; attrition; contour; contrite; detour; detriment; diatribe; drill (v.) "bore a hole;" lithotripsy; return; septentrion; thrash; thread; thresh; throw; threshold; trauma; trepan; tribadism; tribology; tribulation; trite; triticale; triturate; trout; trypsin; tryptophan; turn.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit turah "wounded, hurt;" Greek teirein "to rub, rub away;" Latin terere "to rub, thresh, grind, wear away," tornus "turning lathe;" Old Church Slavonic tiro "to rub;" Lithuanian trinu, trinti "to rub," Old Irish tarathar "borer," Welsh taraw "to strike."

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