Word of the Day : July 20, 2021
attenuate \uh-TEN-yuh-wayt\ verb
1 : to lessen the amount, force, magnitude, or value of : weaken
2 : to reduce the severity, virulence, or vitality of
3 : to make thin or slender
4 : to make thin in consistency : rarefy
5 : to become thin, fine, or less
Did You Know?
Attenuate ultimately comes from a combining of the Latin prefix ad-, meaning "to" or "toward," and tenuis, meaning "thin," a pedigree that is in keeping with the English word's current meanings, which all have to do with literal or metaphorical thinning. The word is most common in technical contexts, where it often implies the reduction or weakening of something by physical or chemical means. You can attenuate wire by drawing it through successively smaller holes, for example, or attenuate gold by hammering it into thin sheets. Current evidence dates the term to the 16th century, in which we find many references to bodily humors in need of being attenuated; modern medicine prefers to use the word in reference to procedures that weaken a pathogen or reduce the severity of a disease.
Aired July 20, 2021
- Recommended Recommended
- History & In Progress History
- Browse Library
- Most Popular Library
Get Personalized Recommendations
Let us help you figure out what to learn! By taking a short interview you’ll be able to specify your learning interests and goals, so we can recommend the perfect courses and lessons to try next.Start Interview
You don't have any lessons in your history.
Just find something that looks interesting and start learning!