attenuate

[v. uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adj. uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt]
verb (used with object), attenuated, attenuating.
1.
to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value: to attenuate desire.
2.
to make thin; make slender or fine.
3.
Bacteriology, Immunology. to render less virulent, as a strain of pathogenic virus or bacterium.
4.
Electronics. to decrease the amplitude of (an electronic signal).
verb (used without object), attenuated, attenuating.
5.
to become thin or fine; lessen.
adjective
6.
weakened; diminishing.
7.
Botany. tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.

Origin:
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
attenuate
 
vb
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
 
adj
4.  diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
5.  botany tapering gradually to a point
 
[C16: from Latin attenuāre to weaken, from tenuis thin]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

attenuate
"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.

adj.
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
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
  transplantation.
If the light is not attenuated by atmospheric conditions, the visibility is
  said to be unlimited.
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