attenuation

[uh-ten-yoo-ey-shuhn]
noun
1.
the act of attenuating or the state of being attenuated.
2.
the process by which a virus, bacterium, etc., changes under laboratory conditions to become harmless or less virulent.
3.
Physics. a decrease in a property, as energy, per unit area of a wave or a beam of particles, occurring as the distance from the source increases as a result of absorption, scattering, spreading in three dimensions, etc.

Origin:
1585–95; (< Middle French) < Latin attenuātiōn- (stem of attenuātiō). See attenuate, -ion

subattenuation, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
attenuation (əˌtɛnjʊˈeɪʃən)
 
n
1.  the act of attenuating or the state of being attenuated
2.  the loss of energy suffered by radiation as it passes through matter, esp as a result of absorption or scattering

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

attenuation
1590s, from L. attenuationem (nom. attenuatio), noun of action from attenuatus, pp. of attenuare (see attenuate).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

attenuation at·ten·u·a·tion (ə-těn'yōō-ā'shən)
n.

  1. A dilution, thinning, or weakening of a substance, especially a reduction in the virulence of a pathogen through repeated inoculation, growth in a different culture medium, or exposure to heat, light, air or other weakening agents.

  2. The energy loss of an ultrasonic beam as it passes through a material.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

attenuation definition

communications
The progressive reduction in amplitude of a signal as it travels farther from the point of origin.
For example, an electric signal's amplitude reduces with distance due to electrical impedance. Attenuation is usually measured in decibels [per metre?].
Attenuation does not imply appreciable modification of the shape of the waveform (distortion), though as the signal amplitude falls the signal-to-noise ratio will also fall unless the channel itself is noise free or the signal is amplified at some intermediate point(s) along the channel.
["Networking Essentials, second edition", Microsoft Corporation, pub. Microsoft Press 1997].
(2003-07-29)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
By no mechanical process can the baser metals be made to undergo such attenuation.
In retrospect, its small pages and large type seem indicative of the attenuation of the story itself.
Attenuation and diffusion can occur nears the ocean surface due to more air bubbles in that zone.
Definitions for natural attenuation from several organizations.
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