Etymology
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Words related to *tere-

atresia (n.)
"occlusion of a natural passage in the body, absence of a natural opening or passage," 1807, from Modern Latin atresia, from Greek atretos "not perforated," from a- "not, without" (see a- (3)) + tresis "perforation," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn," with derivatives referring to boring and drilling. Related: Atresic.
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attorn (v.)
late 13c., Anglo-French, "to turn over to another," from Old French atorner "to turn, turn to, assign, attribute, dispose," from a- "to" (see ad-) + tourner "to turn," from Latin tornare "to turn on a lathe," from tornus "lathe," from Greek tornos "lathe, tool for drawing circles," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn." In feudal law, "to transfer homage or allegiance to another lord."
attorney (n.)

early 14c. (mid-13c. in Anglo-Latin), "one appointed by another to act in his place," from Old French atorné "(one) appointed," past participle of aturner "to decree, assign, appoint," from atorner "to assign," literally "to turn to" (see attorn). The sense is of "one appointed to represent another's interests."

In English law, a private attorney (attorney in fact) was one appointed to act for another in business or legal affairs (usually for pay); an attorney at law or public attorney was a qualified legal agent in the courts of Common Law who prepared the cases for a barrister, who pleaded them (the equivalent of a solicitor in Chancery). So much a term of contempt in England that it was abolished by the Judicature Act of 1873 and merged with solicitor.

Johnson observed that "he did not care to speak ill of any man behind his back, but he believed the gentleman was an attorney." [Boswell]

In U.S., barrister is not used and the general designation became properly attorney and counselor at law; when presenting a case in court, simply counselor. The double -t- is a mistaken 15c. attempt to restore a non-existent Latin original, perhaps by influence of legal Latin form attornare.

attrition (n.)

early 15c., "a breaking;" 1540s, "abrasion, scraping, the rubbing of one thing against another," from Latin attritionem (nominative attritio), literally "a rubbing against," noun of action from past-participle stem of atterere "to wear, rub away," figuratively "to destroy, waste," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + terere "to rub" (from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn").

The earliest sense in English is from Scholastic theology (late 14c.), "sorrow for sin merely out of fear of punishment or a sense of shame," an imperfect condition, less than contrition or repentance. The sense of "wearing down of military strength" is from World War I (1914). Figurative use by 1930.

contour (n.)
Origin and meaning of contour

"the outline of a figure," 1660s, a term in painting and sculpture, from French contour "circumference, outline," from Italian and Medieval Latin contornare "to go around," from assimilated form of Latin com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + tornare "to turn (on a lathe);" see turn (v.).

Application to topography is from 1769. Earlier the word was used to mean "bedspread, quilt" (early 15c.) in reference to its falling over the sides of the mattress. Contour line in geography is from 1844. Contour-chair, one designed to fit the curves of the body, is from 1949.

As a verb, "mark with contour lines; form to the contours of," 1871. Related: Contoured.  

contrite (adj.)

"broken in spirit by a sense of guilt, conscience-stricken and resolved to not sin again," c. 1300, from Old French contrit (12c.) and directly from Latin contritus, literally "worn out, ground to pieces," in Late Latin "penitent," past participle of conterere "to grind," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + terere "to rub" (from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn").

Used in Church Latin in a figurative sense of "crushed in spirit by a sense of sin." Related: Contritely.

detour (n.)

"a roundabout or circuitous way," 1738, from French détour, from Old French destor "side road, byway; evasion, excuse," from destorner "turn aside," from des- "aside" (see dis-) + tourner "to turn" (see turn (v.)). In 18c. usually figurative. Usually treated as a French word in English (with italics and the accent mark) until late 19c.

detriment (n.)

early 15c., "incapacity;" mid-15c., "any harm or injury," from Old French détriment or directly from Latin detrimentum "a rubbing off; a loss, damage, defeat," from past-participle stem of detere "to wear away," figuratively "to weaken, impair," from de "away" (see de-) + terere "to rub, wear" (from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn"). Meaning "that which causes harm or injury" is from c. 1500.

diatribe (n.)

1640s (in Latin form in English from 1580s), "continued discourse, critical dissertation" (senses now archaic), from French diatribe (15c.) and directly from Latin diatriba "learned discussion," from Greek diatribe "employment, study," in Plato, "discourse," literally "a wearing away (of time), a waste of time," from dia "away" (see dia-) + tribein "to wear, rub," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn." For sense evolution, compare school (n.1).

The modern meaning "a strain of invective, a bitter and violent criticism" by 1804, apparently from French.

drill (n.1)

"tool for making holes in hard substances," 1610s, from Dutch dril, drille "a hole, instrument for boring holes," from drillen "to bore (a hole), turn around, whirl," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn."