WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
at•ten•u•ate /əˈtɛnyuˌeɪt/USA pronunciation   v. [+ object], -at•ed, -at•ing. 
  1. to reduce in force, intensity, effect, or strength;
    weaken: to attenuate desire.
  2. to make thin.
at•ten•u•a•tion, n. [uncountable]

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
at•ten•u•ate  (v. ə tenyo̅o̅ āt′;adj. ə tenyo̅o̅ it, -āt′),USA pronunciation v.,  -at•ed, -at•ing, adj. 
  1. to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value:to attenuate desire.
  2. to make thin;
    make slender or fine.
  3. Immunology[Bacteriol., Immunol.]to render less virulent, as a strain of pathogenic virus or bacterium.
  4. Electronicsto decrease the amplitude of (an electronic signal).

  1. to become thin or fine;

  1. weakened;
  2. Botanytapering gradually to a narrow extremity.
  • Latin attenuātus (past participle of attenuāre to thin, reduce). See at-, tenuis, -ate1
  • 1520–30

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

attenuate vb /əˈtɛnjʊˌeɪt/
  1. to weaken or become weak; reduce in size, strength, density, or value
  2. to make or become thin or fine; extend
adj /əˈtɛnjʊɪt; -ˌeɪt/
  1. diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
  2. tapering gradually to a point
Etymology: 16th Century: from Latin attenuāre to weaken, from tenuis thin

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