[v. uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adj. uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt]
verb (used with object), attenuated, attenuating.
to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value: to attenuate desire.
to make thin; make slender or fine.
Bacteriology, Immunology. to render less virulent, as a strain of pathogenic virus or bacterium.
Electronics. to decrease the amplitude of (an electronic signal).
verb (used without object), attenuated, attenuating.
to become thin or fine; lessen.
weakened; diminishing.
Botany. tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.

1520–30; < Latin attenuātus (past participle of attenuāre to thin, reduce). See at-, tenuis, -ate1

overattenuate, verb (used with object), overattenuated, overattenuating.
subattenuate, adjective
subattenuated, adjective
unattenuated, adjective
unattenuatedly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To attenuate
World English Dictionary
1.  to weaken or become weak; reduce in size, strength, density, or value
2.  to make or become thin or fine; extend
3.  (tr) to make (a pathogenic bacterium, virus, etc) less virulent, as by culture in special media or exposure to heat
4.  diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
5.  botany tapering gradually to a point
[C16: from Latin attenuāre to weaken, from tenuis thin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"to make thin, to make less," 1520s, from L. attenuatus, pp. of attenuare "to make thin," from ad- "to" + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Attenuating (early 17c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

attenuate at·ten·u·ate (ə-těn'yōō-āt')
v. at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing, at·ten·u·ates

  1. To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken; diminish.

  2. To make bacteria or viruses less virulent.

Reduced or weakened, as in strength, value, or virulence.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Even as the available endorphins attenuate, the memory is right there.
They will attenuate rights and still call them rights.
Four separate tone controls permit you to boost or attenuate any frequency
  range or combination of ranges.
Such statements not only mean little, but also attenuate the reader's interest
  in a potentially fascinating subject.
Related Words
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