Tribology is the science and technology of friction, lubrication, and wear, derived from the Greek tribos meaning “rubbing”. Formally, it is defined as the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and all practices related thereto. Webster’s dictionary defines tribology as “a study that deals with the design, friction, wear, and lubrication of interacting surfaces in relative motion (as in bearings or gears).”
The study of tribology is perhaps most commonly associated with bearing design. The term became more widely used following a British study in 1966 (The Jost Report) in which huge sums of money were reported to have been lost in the UK annually due to the consequences of friction and wear. Since then the term has diffused into the international engineering field and a number of specialists now claim to be tribologists.