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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