Derretir (Spanish for “to melt”) comes from the Latin terere, “to rub, wear down.” That which is melted is worn down, after all.
Some interesting words we get from the same root in English include:
- Trite. What is something trite if not, something that is worn down by overusage, figuratively?
- Contrite is when you use so few words, that your sentences are worn away!
- Attrition is when your employees are worn away, bit by bit
- Detriment is basically the worn out remains!
- Tribulations are really when you are worn down by your troubles!
We can see the r‑t root in all these variations.