attenuate

[ verb uh-ten-yoo-eyt; adjective uh-ten-yoo-it, -eyt ]
/ verb əˈtɛn yuˌeɪt; adjective əˈtɛn yu ɪt, -ˌeɪt /

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 or fine; lessen.

adjective

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

QUIZZES

CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?

Did you collect all of last week’s words, but eftsoons forget what they mean? Don’t worry, we’re here to jog your memory. See how many words from the week of May 18 to 24 you can get right!
Question 1 of 7
weal

Origin of attenuate

First recorded in 1520–30, attenuate is from the Latin word attenuātus (past participle of attenuāre to thin, reduce). See at-, tenuis, -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM attenuate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for attenuating

British Dictionary definitions for attenuating

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 attenuating

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.