the act of attenuating or the state of being attenuated.
the process by which a virus, bacterium, etc., changes under laboratory conditions to become harmless or less virulent.
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.

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

subattenuation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
attenuation (əˌtɛnjʊˈeɪʃən)
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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Word Origin & History

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)

  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.

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