Attenuate At*ten"u*ate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Attenuated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Attenuating}.] [L. attenuatus, p. p. of attenuare; ad + tenuare to make thin, tenuis thin. See {Thin}.] 1. 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. [1913 Webster]

2. 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. [1913 Webster]

3. To lessen the amount, force, or value of; to make less complex; to weaken. [1913 Webster]

To undersell our rivals . . . has led the manufacturer to . . . attenuate his processes, in the allotment of tasks, to an extreme point. --I. Taylor. [1913 Webster]

We may reject and reject till we attenuate history into sapless meagerness. --Sir F. Palgrave. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • attenuate — I verb attenuare, bate, constrict, constringe, contract, curtail, debilitate, decrease, deflate, devitalize, diminish, diminish in effect, extenuare, extenuate, lessen, lighten, make thin, narrow, reduce, reduce in intensity, reduce in strength,… …   Law dictionary

  • Attenuate — At*ten u*ate, v. i. To become thin, slender, or fine; to grow less; to lessen. [1913 Webster] The attention attenuates as its sphere contracts. Coleridge. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Attenuate — At*ten u*ate, Attenuated At*ten u*a ted, a. [L. attenuatus, p. p.] 1. Made thin or slender. [1913 Webster] 2. Made thin or less viscid; rarefied. Bacon. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attenuate — (v.) to make thin, to make less, 1520s, from L. attenuatus enfeebled, weak, pp. of attenuare to make thin, lessen, diminish, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + tenuare make thin, from tenuis thin (see TENET (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • attenuate — vb *thin, rarefy, dilute, extenuate Analogous words: *weaken, sap: reduce, lessen (see DECREASE): dissipate (see SCATTER): *contract, shrink, constrict, deflate Antonyms: enlarge: dilate: enrich Contrasted words: * …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • attenuate — [v] weaken abate, constrict, contract, cripple, debilitate, deflate, disable, dissipate, enfeeble, extenuate, lessen, mitigate, sap, shrink, thin, undermine, vitiate; concept 240 Ant. expand, increase, intensify, strengthen …   New thesaurus

  • attenuate — ► VERB 1) reduce the strength, effect, or value of. 2) make thin or thinner. DERIVATIVES attenuation noun. ORIGIN Latin attenuare make slender …   English terms dictionary

  • attenuate — [ə ten′yo͞o āt΄; ] for adj. [, ə ten′yo͞oit, ə ten′yo͞oāt΄] vt. attenuated, attenuating [< L attenuatus, pp. of attenuare, to make thin < ad to + tenuare < tenuis, THIN] 1. to make slender or thin 2. to dilute or rarefy 3. to lessen in… …   English World dictionary

  • Attenuate — To weaken, dilute, thin, reduce, weaken, diminish. The use of attenuate in medicine is not new. In the 16th century, eating dried figs was claimed to attenuate the body fluids. Now attenuate refers to procedures that weaken an agent of disease (a …   Medical dictionary

  • attenuate — [[t]əte̱njueɪt[/t]] attenuates, attenuating, attenuated VERB To attenuate something means to reduce it or weaken it. [FORMAL] [V n] You could never eliminate risk, but preparation and training could attenuate it... [V ed] Theirs had been an… …   English dictionary

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