at·ten·u·ate • v. / əˈtenyoōˌāt/ [tr.] (often be attenuated) reduce the force, effect, or value of: her intolerance was attenuated by a rather unexpected liberalism. ∎ reduce the amplitude of (a signal, electric current, or other oscillation). ∎ [intr.] (of a signal, electric current, or other oscillation) be reduced in amplitude. ∎ [usu. as adj.] (attenuated) reduce the virulence of (a pathogenic organism or vaccine): attenuated strains of rabies virus. ∎ reduce in thickness; make thin. • adj. / -wit; -ˌwāt/ rare reduced in force, effect, or physical thickness. DERIVATIVES: at·ten·u·a·tion / əˌtenyoōˈāshən/ n.
To reduce the force or severity; to lessen a relationship or connection between two objects.
In criminal procedure, the relationship between an illegal search and a confession may be sufficiently attenuated as to remove the confession from the protection afforded by the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine, thereby making it admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution depending upon the facts of the case.