verb (used with object), at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing.
- to weaken or reduce in force, intensity, effect, quantity, or value: to attenuate desire.
- to make thin; make slender or fine.
- Bacteriology, Immunology. to render less virulent, as a strain of pathogenic virus or bacterium.
- Electronics. to decrease the amplitude of (an electronic signal).
verb (used without object), at·ten·u·at·ed, at·ten·u·at·ing.
- to become thin or fine; lessen.
- weakened; diminishing.
- Botany. tapering gradually to a narrow extremity.
- to weaken or become weak; reduce in size, strength, density, or value
- to make or become thin or fine; extend
- (tr) to make (a pathogenic bacterium, virus, etc) less virulent, as by culture in special media or exposure to heat
adjective (əˈtɛnjʊɪt, -ˌeɪt)
- diluted, weakened, slender, or reduced
- botany tapering gradually to a point
“to make thin, to make less,” 1520s, from Latin attenuatus “enfeebled, weak,” past participle of attenuare “to make thin, lessen, diminish,” from ad- “to” (see ) + tenuare “make thin,” from tenuis “thin” (see ). Related: Attenuated; attenuating. Earlier was Middle English attenuen “to make thin (in consistency),” early 15c.
- To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken; diminish.
- To make bacteria or viruses less virulent.
- Reduced or weakened, as in strength, value, or virulence.