Definition of extenuate in English:

extenuate

Syllabification: ex·ten·u·ate
Pronunciation: /ikˈstenyo͞oˌāt
 
/

verb

[with object]
1 (usually as adjective extenuating) Make (guilt or an offense) seem less serious or more forgivable: there were extenuating circumstances that caused me to say the things I did
More example sentences
  • Members of the SWC jury said, while commenting on one case, that infanticide is an abominable crime and those who commit it cannot be exonerated, whatever the extenuating circumstances.
  • Zero tolerance means that if you test positive for prohibited substance use, then barring any exculpatory or extenuating circumstances, it is likely that you will be issued with a termination notice or reduced in rank.
  • This still leaves scope for the sentence to be lessened in the light of extenuating circumstances to do with the crime itself.
Synonyms
excuse, mitigate, palliate, make allowances for, make excuses for, defend, vindicate, justify; diminish, lessen, moderate, qualify, play downmitigating, excusing, exonerative, palliative, justifying, justificatory, vindicating
formal exculpatory
2 (usually as adjective extenuated) literary Make (someone) thin: drawings of extenuated figures
More example sentences
  • A doctrinal synthesis may be a negative guide, eliminating erroneous interpretation, but only in a very extenuated sense would it be a positive aid to interpretation.
  • Both outfits extenuated the tans and muscles that had grown over the summer.
  • Its rather angular and extenuated figures are reminiscent of those of a pyxis in Berkeley which has already been discussed in its relation to our painter.

Origin

late Middle English (in the sense 'make thin, emaciate'): from Latin extenuat- 'made thin', from the verb extenuare (based on tenuis 'thin').

Derivatives

extenuation

Pronunciation: /ikˌstenyo͞oˈāSHən/
noun
More example sentences
  • Lawyer Mark Waple, who has handled a number of cases on Fort Bragg, said the recent revelations ‘seem to be more along the lines of extenuation and mitigation rather than any defence.’
  • This is a hard doctrine, but one that has undiminished resonance for us in our own era, whose search for extenuation and victimization diminishes rather than ennobles all it touches.
  • Magee argues that Wagner's anti-Semitism, though reprehensible, was not mirrored in his work, but his extenuations have the tone of a capable defense attorney pleading for us to exercise reasonable doubt.

extenuatory

Pronunciation: /-əˌtôrē/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Here are some examples of manslaughter arising from extenuatory considerations in fact.
  • The extenuatory sentencing circumstances are various circumstances synoptically provided by the penal code, represent the actors' public harm and personal danger, and can be applied with extenuation in sentences.

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