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attenuate

[v. uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adj. uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt] /v. əˈtɛn yuˌeɪt; adj. əˈtɛn yu ɪt, -ˌeɪt/
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
1520-1530
1520-30; < Latin attenuātus (past participle of attenuāre to thin, reduce). See at-, tenuis, -ate1
Related forms
overattenuate, verb (used with object), overattenuated, overattenuating.
subattenuate, adjective
subattenuated, adjective
unattenuated, adjective
unattenuatedly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for attenuating
  • The waves are attenuating, or propagating, toward the surface.
  • The only attenuating factor may be fear from those who ordered those explosions during those troubled times.
British Dictionary definitions for attenuating

attenuate

verb (əˈtɛnjʊˌeɪt)
1.
to weaken or become weak; reduce in size, strength, density, or value
2.
to make or become thin or fine; extend
3.
(transitive) to make (a pathogenic bacterium, virus, etc) less virulent, as by culture in special media or exposure to heat
adjective (əˈtɛnjʊɪt; -ˌeɪt)
4.
diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
5.
(botany) tapering gradually to a point
Word Origin
C16: from Latin attenuāre to weaken, from tenuis thin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for attenuating

attenuate

v.

"to make thin, to make less," 1520s, from Latin attenuatus "enfeebled, weak," past participle of attenuare "to make thin, lessen, diminish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Attenuated; attenuating. Earlier was Middle English attenuen "to make thin (in consistency)," early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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attenuating in Medicine

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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