- 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).
- to become thin or fine; lessen.
- weakened; diminishing.
- Botany. tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.
Origin of attenuate
Examples from the Web for attenuate
Israeli retaliation of some kind is probably inevitable, but American influence can do much to attenuate the damage it causes.The Palestinian Choice—And Ours
November 26, 2012
The Venetian shutters often had to be lowered in the summer to attenuate the great heat.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
It will attenuate, at least with respect to him, the severity of simple minds.Cosmopolis, Complete
I shall not attempt to laugh off the question, or to attenuate its importance.Chapter of Autobiography
W E Gladstone
It does not attenuate the power and originality of his themes that they are essentially of the piano.Unicorns
It would not have been difficult to attenuate the coincidence.Play-Making
- to weaken or become weak; reduce in size, strength, density, or value
- to make or become thin or fine; extend
- (tr) to make (a pathogenic bacterium, virus, etc) less virulent, as by culture in special media or exposure to heat
- diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
- botany tapering gradually to a point
Word Origin and History for attenuate
"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.
- To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken; diminish.
- To make bacteria or viruses less virulent.
- Reduced or weakened, as in strength, value, or virulence.