*Afforce* was new to me, not surprising, as the dictionary says it is rarely used.

It made me wonder if there was an antonym. It turns out that *attrit* is a verb which describes reducing membership of a group.

That is probably more familiar as the noun *attrition*.

@Algot Interesting! From the Old French, with "afforcement" also being a fortress or a fortification for defence. This word makes "reinforce" seem so clumsy and contrived.

"Attrit" isn't marked as rare in my dictionary, with quotations from 2001, and curiously is from Latin rather than French. It looks and sounds like it has French roots, from my layperson's perspective :-)

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@wordsmith

It was afforce which had the "rare" label. Sorry if I misspoke.

Attrition is very common here. Many jobs are eliminated "by attrition" as people choose to leave on their own or to retire.

I had not encountered "attrit" as a verb, though. I was not too surprised that it existed. That's as far as I went in my search this morning, though.

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