American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make slender, fine, or small: The drought attenuated the river to a narrow channel.
- v. To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken: Medicine attenuated the fever's effect.
- v. To lessen the density of; rarefy.
- v. Biology To make (bacteria or viruses) less virulent.
- v. Electronics To reduce (the amplitude of an electrical signal) with little or no distortion.
- v. To become thin, weak, or fine.
- adj. Reduced or weakened, as in strength, value, or virulence.
- adj. Botany Gradually tapering to a slender point.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To make thin or slender; reduce in thickness; wear or draw down: as, an attenuated thread or wire.
- To reduce by comminution or attrition; make small or fine: as, extremely attenuated particles of dust or flour.
- To make thin or rare; reduce in density; increase the fluidity or rarity of.
- To lessen in complexity or intensity; reduce in strength or energy; simplify; weaken: as, the attenuated remedies of the homeopathists.
- Figuratively, to weaken or reduce in force, effect, or value; render meager or jejune; fine down.
- To lessen; diminish: said of number. Howell.
- To become thin, slender, or fine; diminish; lessen.
- In brewing and distilling, to undergo the process of attenuation. See attenuation, 4.
- Slender; thin.
- In botany, tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.
- Of thin consistency; dilute; rarefied.
- v. transitive To reduce in size, force, value, amount, or degree.
- v. transitive To make thinner, as by physically reshaping, starving, or decaying.
- v. transitive To weaken.
- v. transitive To rarefy.
- v. transitive, medicine To reduce the virulence of a bacteria or virus.
- v. transitive, electronics To reduce the amplitude of an electrical signal.
- adj. botany, of leaves Gradually tapering into a petiole-like extension toward the base.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To make thin or slender, as by mechanical or chemical action upon inanimate objects, or by the effects of starvation, disease, etc., upon living bodies.
- v. To make thin or less consistent; to render less viscid or dense; to rarefy. Specifically: To subtilize, as the humors of the body, or to break them into finer parts.
- v. To lessen the amount, force, or value of; to make less complex; to weaken.
- v. To become thin, slender, or fine; to grow less; to lessen.
- adj. Made thin or slender.
- adj. Made thin or less viscid; rarefied.
- v. weaken the consistency of (a chemical substance)
- adj. reduced in strength
- v. become weaker, in strength, value, or magnitude
- From Latin attenuāre, from attenuāt-, at- = ad-, ad- ("to") + tenuāre ("to make thin"), tenuis ("thin"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin attenuāre, attenuāt- : ad-, ad- + tenuāre, to make thin (from tenuis, thin; see ten- in Indo-European roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This being correctly guessed to represent "attenuate" (at ten you ate), the other side goes from the room and the previous performers become the audience.”
“Although the United States "has done as good a job as it could have" in trying to make the ANA mirror the broader society, Mason said, it can only "attenuate" rather than prevent such a war in the future, even with a larger troop presence.”
“Reforming divorce laws likely would attenuate the divorce rate as well as the risks inherent to later births with new partners.”
“This piece, one in a series referencing visual artists, is largely centered on a marimba the performer plays in non-standard ways that allow him to attenuate the sound either by direct dampening with the hands or using atypical mallets for the job.”
“This is usually what happens when Congress does not have the will to enact laws that are prophylactic in nature or attenuate the problem before it becomes a crisis.”
“Would my contributions be more palatable were I to attenuate the libertarianism?”
“Rob Pegoraro: Most of the walls in my house are also plaster over lathe--it's a real treat to have to cut into that to move an electrical outlet--but I haven't seen that attenuate WiFi that much.”
“Yet, Dr. Maalouf doesn't rule out the rise of new 'media barons' as he argues that "control by the rich and powerful is inescapable in a capitalist system" while hoping that social networks and the Internet in general help attenuate the problem.”
“Taxes are not the cause of inequality, but they may help attenuate it, which should be one of the objectives of economic politics.”
“Automatic stabilizers attenuate the amplitude in the business cycle by expanding the budget in a recession and contracting it in a boom see this for further explanation.”
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