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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  • attenuated — index deficient, impalpable, narrow, nonsubstantial (not sturdy), tenuous Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Attenuated — Weakened, diluted, thinned, reduced, weakened, diminished. The use of attenuated in medicine is not new. In the 16th century, eating dried figs was claimed to attenuate the body fluids. Now attenuated refers to procedures that weaken an agent of… …   Medical dictionary

  • attenuated — decreased decreased adj. made less in size or amount or degree. Opposite of {increased}. [Narrower terms: {attenuate, attenuated, faded, weakened}; {belittled, diminished, small}; {cut, cut rate}; {diminished, lessened}; {minimized}; {remittent}; …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attenuated — at|ten|u|at|ed [ ə tenju,eıtəd ] adjective 1. ) TECHNICAL long and thin: an attenuated beam of light 2. ) MEDICAL made weak or less harmful: a live attenuated vaccine …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • attenuated — [[t]əte̱njueɪtɪd[/t]] ADJ GRADED An attenuated object is unusually long and thin. [FORMAL] ...round arches and attenuated columns …   English dictionary

  • attenuated — adjective 1) attenuated fingers Syn: thin, slender, narrow, slim, skinny, spindly, bony; rare attenuate Ant: plump, broad 2) his muscle activity was much attenuated Syn …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • attenuated — UK [əˈtenjuˌeɪtɪd] / US [əˈtenjuˌeɪtəd] adjective 1) formal long and thin an attenuated beam of light 2) medical made weak or less harmful a live attenuated vaccine …   English dictionary

  • Attenuated — 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

  • attenuated — un·attenuated; …   English syllables

  • attenuated — Weakened or thinned. Attenuated strains of disease causing bacteria and viruses are often used as vaccines. The weakened strains are used as vaccines because they stimulate a protective immune response while causing no disease or only mild… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

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