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Definition reduce in strength, amount, or size (especially in thickness)
  • 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
  • Bayard attenuated forty miles (it was forty miles, wasn't it?
    William Faulkner  --  Absalom, Absalom!
  • 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
  • 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
  • 'But my father threatened me,' gasped the boy, clasping his attenuated fingers, 'and I dread him — I dread him!
    Emily Bronte  --  Wuthering Heights
  • The beam was attenuated more by the gaseous carbon and iron than by the armor.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • 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
  • Klara watched the skywriter's smoke begin to attenuate and drift.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • On my attenuated physique, this magnificent, striped, green, double-breasted suit hung like window drapes on a scarecrow.
    Russell Baker  --  Growing Up
  • To stay now meant attenuation; perhaps her own kind of death.
    Stephen King  --  The Gunslinger
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • With no excuse and less encouragement he isolated blackleg organisms from sick cattle and prepared an attenuated vaccine of his own.
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Arrowsmith
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • It is then that the plight of being alive becomes attenuated to its least possible dimensions.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • 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
  • As a rile, Simon avoids her type of attenuated and quietly distraught female, although doctors attract such women like magnets.
    Margaret Atwood  --  Alias Grace
  • Their faces, bathed in the attenuated December light from the tall windows, appeared quiet and even faintly reverent.
    David Guterson  --  Snow Falling on Cedars

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