Definition of attenuate in English:


Line breaks: at¦tenu|ate


Pronunciation: /əˈtɛnjʊeɪt
[with object]
  • 1Reduce the force, effect, or value of: her intolerance was attenuated by an unexpected liberalism
    More example sentences
    • I do not believe this attenuates the force of any judgement against those responsible for such attacks.
    • I think that there are strategies by which we can at least attenuate the negative effects of globalisation, but these strategies need to be more sophisticated than organised protest.
    • Particularly in disadvantaged areas, this perception of one's own power as a parent seems to be a promising avenue for attenuating the potentially harmful effects of the environment on children's development.
  • 1.1Reduce the amplitude of (a signal, electric current, or other oscillation): the filter must severely attenuate frequencies above 10 Hz
    More example sentences
    • In recent years, engineers have developed receivers that will perform satisfactorily even with multipath-corrupted and severely attenuated signals such as those found indoors.
    • New designs have greatly improved the sensitivity of GPS receivers so they can make code-phase measurements even on the severely attenuated signals inside buildings.
    • However, a possible drawback is that, as a consequence of relatively high conductivities, low frequency electric fields are severely attenuated in biological tissues.
  • 1.2Reduce the virulence of (a pathogenic organism or vaccine): researchers hoped that the substance would attenuate the course of the disease
    More example sentences
    • Varicella-zoster virus vaccine is a live attenuated virus that becomes latent after vaccination.
    • BCG is a live attenuated vaccine and is being given routinely to all newborns under the universal immunization programme.
    • Childhood vaccination against varicella with a live attenuated vaccine is now common in the United States and may be introduced elsewhere.


Pronunciation: /əˈtɛnjʊət
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  • Reduced in force, effect, or physical thickness: the doctrines of Christianity became very attenuate and distorted
    More example sentences
    • On the other hand, for their own analysis Carling et al. used an attenuate isosceles triangle with a blunt snout as their model organism, rather than the profile of an eel.



Pronunciation: /-ˈeɪʃ(ə)n/
More example sentences
  • There will be no further attenuation of the anti-union legislation, and the minimum wage looks set to creep and crawl its way up alongside the inflation line.
  • However it's also, to some extent, the result of a seemingly wilful attenuation of historical consciousness.
  • Otherwise, the attenuation of the second attenuator is decreased.


mid 16th century: from Latin attenuat- 'made slender', from the verb attenuare, from ad- 'to' + tenuare 'make thin' (from tenuis 'thin').

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little