I immediately Googled it because I was researching another Alternate Engine piece and it stopped me in my tracks.
Even with a degree in automotive technology it was a new one for me, to wit;
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tribology is the science and technology of friction, lubrication, and wear, derived from the Greek 'Τριβο' ("tribo") meaning 'I rub'. Formally defined, it is the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and all practices related thereto.
The study of tribology is commonly applied in bearing design but extends into other almost any aspect of modern technology, even to such unlikely areas as hair conditioners and cosmetics such as lipstick, powders and lipgloss.
Any product where one material slides or rubs over another is affected by complex tribological interactions, whether lubricated (e.g. hip implants and other artificial prosthesis) or unlubricated (some studies, for example, have looked at high temperature sliding wear in which conventional lubricants can no longer be used and the formation of compacted oxide layer glazes have been observed to protect against wear).
I will leave the literal translation of 'I rub', alone.
Fascinating stuff, this goes all the way into molecular motors and other exotic things like viscosity and God only knows what else.
Not a term I think would be easy to drop into a conversation though.