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attenuate


The problems of poverty are attenuated by the social safety net.
  reduced in strength
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attenuation attenuate attenuates attenuated attenuating
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Samples:
  • The problems of poverty are attenuated by the social safety net.
  • How vain and foolish, then, thought I, for timid untravelled man to try to comprehend aright this wondrous whale, by merely poring over his dead attenuated skeleton, stretched in this peaceful wood.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • To hear him was to realize how I must have sounded when I was with her, though his tone was elegant, still circumspect, only the least bit attenuated.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • Dominating the scene by his height and force was Nathan: broad-shouldered, powerful-looking, crowned with a shock of hair swarthy as a Sioux’s, he resembled a more attenuated and frenetic John Garfield, with Garfield’s handsome, crookedly agreeable face—theoretically agreeable, I should say, for now the face was murky with passion and rage, was quite emphatically anything but agreeable, suffused as it was with such an obvious eagerness for violence.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice

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  • ’But my father threatened me,’ gasped the boy, clasping his attenuated fingers, ’and I dread him — I dread him!
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • I went and stared at nothing in my shaving-glass, at nothing save where an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of my eyes, fainter than mist.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • His person, though muscular, was rather attenuated than full; but every nerve and muscle appeared strung and indurated by unremitted exposure and toil.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • How vain and foolish, then, thought I, for timid untravelled man to try to comprehend aright this wondrous whale, by merely poring over his dead attenuated skeleton, stretched in this peaceful wood.
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • Generally when tomorrow came, the thought either did not occur at all or it was so attenuated by the delay it was not very troublesome.
    Margaret Mitchell  --  Gone with the Wind
  • At first Eragon took them to be falcons, but as they neared, he realized that the animals were almost twenty feet long, with attenuated tails and leathery wings.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest

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  • In the new path which he had entered on, in judging the mistakes of the old regime, as in measuring the glory of Napoleon, he neglected the attenuating circumstances.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • Their faces, bathed in the attenuated December light from the tall windows, appeared quiet and even faintly reverent.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars
  • Vertical black figures in twos and threes would advance, stop, watch, and advance again, spreading out as they did so in a thin irregular crescent that promised to enclose the pit in its attenuated horns.
    H.G. Wells  --  The War of the Worlds
  • So long as I travelled at a high velocity through time, this scarcely mattered; I was, so to speak, attenuated—was slipping like a vapour through the interstices of intervening substances!
    H.G. Wells  --  The Time Machine
  • The bronze face, the shaggy black hair and beard, the coarse woollen red cap, the rough medley dress of home-spun stuff and hairy skins of beasts, the powerful frame attenuated by spare living, and the sullen and desperate compression of the lips in sleep, inspired the mender of roads with awe.
    Charles Dickens  --  A Tale of Two Cities
  • "What is your answer, Bartleby?" said I, after waiting a considerable time for a reply, during which his countenance remained immovable, only there was the faintest conceivable tremor of the white attenuated mouth.
    Herman Melville  --  Bartleby, the Scrivener: a Story of Wall Street
  • The sky that shows around the dim white building is a peculiarly tender blue, almost turquoise, which invests the scene with a kind of lyricism and gracefully attenuates the atmosphere of decay.
    Tennessee Williams  --  A Streetcar Named Desire
  • It is then that the plight of being alive becomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • I winced at my mistake, which I attenuated as I could, and opened my letter again to repeat it to her; then, faltering in the act and folding it up once more, I put it back in my pocket.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • Two kitchen chairs, and a round table, and an attenuated old poker and tongs were, however, gathered round the fire-place, as was a saucepan over a feeble sputtering fire.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • Thus she did not amuse herself with those preparations that stimulate the tenderness of mothers, and so her affection was from the very outset, perhaps, to some extent attenuated.
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • Nor were there wanting other indications of the good gentleman’s having gone down in the world of late: for a great scarcity of furniture, and total absence of comfort, together with the disappearance of all such small moveables as spare clothes and linen, bespoke a state of extreme poverty; while the meagre and attenuated condition of Mr. Sikes himself would have fully confirmed these symptoms, if they had stood in any need of corroboration.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • With no reactor coolant to absorb the heat of the uranium rods, the nuclear reaction actually stopped—there was no water to attenuate the neutron flux.
    Tom Clancy  --  The Hunt for Red October
  • As a rile, Simon avoids her type of attenuated and quietly distraught female, although doctors attract such women like magnets.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • The bay window projecting into the street, whose interior was so popular among the frequenters of the inn, was closed with shutters, in each of which appeared a heart-shaped aperture, somewhat more attenuated in the right and left ventricles than is seen in Nature.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • Jacob strolled to a nearby driftwood tree that had its roots sticking out like the attenuated legs of a huge, pale spider.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Twilight
  • I saw him look at the loaf at supper (which happened to be a small one), as if nothing else stood between us and famine; and when my aunt insisted on his making his customary repast, I detected him in the act of pocketing fragments of his bread and cheese; I have no doubt for the purpose of reviving us with those savings, when we should have reached an advanced stage of attenuation.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • It is a sort of attenuated variety of Ixion’s punishment, and contributes a dismal chapter to the history of gaols.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • It was as though instead of having been subtly slain and corrupted by the ruthless and bigoted man into something beyond his intending and her knowing, she had been hammered stubbornly thinner and thinner like some passive and dully malleable metal, into an attenuation of dumb hopes and frustrated desires now faint and pale as dead ashes.
    William Faulkner  --  Light in August
  • Kerry read "Dorian Gray" and simulated Lord Henry, following Amory about, addressing him as "Dorian" and pretending to encourage in him wicked fancies and attenuated tendencies to ennui.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  This Side of Paradise
  • If she had had a little more self-control she would have attenuated the emotion to nothing by sheer reasoning, and so have killed it off.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Return of the Native
  • The colourless clearness that comes after the sunset flush was darkling; the blue sky above grew momentarily deeper, and the little stars one by one pierced the attenuated light; the interspaces of the trees, the gaps in the further vegetation, that had been hazy blue in the daylight, grew black and mysterious.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • After he had left her she went, the first thing, and lifted from the mantel-shelf the attenuated coffee-cup in which he had mentioned the existence of a crack; but she looked at it rather abstractedly.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Fascinated by an immediate reality that came to be more fantastic than the vast universe of his imagination, he lost all interest in the alchemist’s laboratory, put to rest the material that had become attenuated with months of manipulation, and went back to being the enterprising man of earlier days when he had decided upon the layout of the streets and the location of the new houses so that no one would enjoy privileges that everyone did not have.
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez  --  One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • Although he could not have been less than eighteen or nineteen years old, and was tall for that age, he wore a skeleton suit, such as is usually put upon very little boys, and which, though most absurdly short in the arms and legs, was quite wide enough for his attenuated frame.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • What if the wretched Bertha, finding in all the long hours no soul to turn to—but by this time Lily’s eager foot was on the side-ladder, and her first step on the Sabrina showed the worst of her apprehensions to be unfounded; for there, in the luxurious shade of the after-deck, the wretched Bertha, in full command of her usual attenuated elegance, sat dispensing tea to the Duchess of Beltshire and Lord Hubert.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • Bayard attenuated forty miles (it was forty miles, wasn’t it?); out of the wilderness proud honor semestrial regurgitant.
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • To stay now meant attenuation; perhaps her own kind of death.
    Stephen King  --  The Gunslinger
  • Klara watched the skywriter’s smoke begin to attenuate and drift.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • The beam was attenuated more by the gaseous carbon and iron than by the armor.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • The words came up through the clear blue air, infinitely diminished and attenuated, like some insect cry.
    Grace MacGowan Cooke  --  The Power and the Glory
  • On my attenuated physique, this magnificent, striped, green, double-breasted suit hung like window drapes on a scarecrow.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • The repetition of symbols was to be enough, without trauma as well perhaps to attenuate it or even jar it altogether loose from her memory.
    Thomas Pynchon  --  The Crying of Lot 49
  • After he had left her she went, the first thing, and lifted from the mantel-shelf the attenuated coffee-cup in which he had mentioned the existence of a crack; but she looked at it rather abstractedly.
    Henry James  --  The Portrait of a Lady - Volume 2
  • Though evidently so near its dissolution, his attenuated frame still stood like the shaft of seasoned oak, dry, naked, and tempest-driven, but unbending and apparently indurated to the consistency of stone.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Prairie
  • Much did she censure the attenuated Cupids who encircle the ceiling of the Queen’s Hall, inclining each to each with vapid gesture, and clad in sallow pantaloons, on which the October sunlight struck.
    E.M. Forster  --  Howards End
  • "We just need to distract them, confuse them…… " He glanced at the sky, hoping to see a curtain of rain sweeping toward the camp, but alas, a pair of attenuated clouds drifting high above was the only formation visible.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Inheritance
  • Now, however, he wondered which would have been worse: the gush of smoke and the instant recognition of impending doom that would have come with it—or clean air and the hideously attenuated false hope of a last-minute correction, salvation.
    Dean Koontz  --  Sole Survivor
  • With no excuse and less encouragement he isolated blackleg organisms from sick cattle and prepared an attenuated vaccine of his own.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • He certainly felt that he was part of a different, more restricted society, was anything but a tourist; and his more recent, broadening perspective had brought with it attenuating duties and a dignity that distanced him from others, so that he was not of a mind to join them in their romps or to roll in the snow like a fool.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
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Associated words [difficulty]:   attenuate [6]
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