Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "attenuate" []

  • To make slender, fine, or small: The drought attenuated the river to a narrow channel. (verb-transitive)
  • To reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken: Medicine attenuated the fever's effect. (verb-transitive)
  • To lessen the density of; rarefy. (verb-transitive)
  • Biology To make (bacteria or viruses) less virulent. (verb-transitive)
  • Electronics To reduce (the amplitude of an electrical signal) with little or no distortion. (verb-transitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "attenuate" in a sentence
  • "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."