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v. at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing, at·ten·u·ates
1. To make slender, fine, or small: The drought attenuated the river to a narrow channel.
2. To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken: Medicine attenuated the fever's effect.
3. To lessen the density of; rarefy.
4. Biology To make (bacteria or viruses) less virulent.
5. Electronics To reduce (the amplitude of an electrical signal) with little or no distortion.
To become thin, weak, or fine.
1. Reduced or weakened, as in strength, value, or virulence.
2. Botany Gradually tapering to a slender point.
[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, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.