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attenuate

[ verb uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adjective uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt ]
/ verb əˈtɛn yuˌeɪt; adjective əˈtɛn yu ɪt, -ˌeɪt /
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verb (used with object), at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing.

verb (used without object), at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing.

to become thin, fine, or weak; lessen: Over the years, my anger at my family attenuated and I was able to acknowledge the strengths they had given me.

adjective

weakened; diminishing.
Botany. tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.

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Origin of attenuate

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin attenuātus (past participle of attenuāre “to make thin, reduce”); see at-, tenuis, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM attenuate

o·ver·at·ten·u·ate, verb (used with object), o·ver·at·ten·u·at·ed, o·ver·at·ten·u·at·ing.sub·at·ten·u·ate, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use attenuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for attenuate

attenuate

verb (əˈtɛnjʊˌeɪt)

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

adjective (əˈtɛnjʊɪt, -ˌeɪt)

diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
botany tapering gradually to a point

Word Origin for attenuate

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

Medical definitions for attenuate

attenuate
[ ə-tĕnyōō-āt′ ]

v.

To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken; diminish.
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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