[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 attenuated
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Similarly, resource wealth also attenuated the risk of conflict.
As a result, the light of the blue sun is strongly scattered and attenuated.
Well, okay, but this risk can be significantly attenuated before
If the light is not attenuated by atmospheric conditions, the visibility is
  said to be unlimited.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature