extenuate


extenuate
extenuate
means ‘to lessen or reduce the seriousness of (guilt or an offence)’ and usually occurs in the participial form extenuating:

• Poverty and desperation are extenuating factors in Bangladesh, but not in the United States —New Yorker, 1973

• The law itself, framed as it is in terms of strict liability, is not concerned with any niceties which might be provoked by extenuating circumstances —K. Hawkins, 1993.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Extenuate — Ex*ten u*ate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Extenuated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Extenuating}.] [L. extenuatus, p. p. of extenuare to make thin, loosen, weaken; ex out + tenuare to make thin, tenuis thin. See {Tenuity}.] 1. To make thin or slender; to draw out… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • extenuate — I verb absolve, acquit, allow for, attemper, attenuate, clear, condone, debilitate, deprive of strength, dilute, diminish, enervate, enfeeble, exculpate, excuse, exonerate, forgive, justify, lessen, levare, lighten, make allowance for, make… …   Law dictionary

  • Extenuate — Ex*ten u*ate, v. i. To become thinner; to make excuses; to advance palliating considerations. Burke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Extenuate — Ex*ten u*ate, a. [L. extenuatus, p. p.] Thin; slender. [Obs.] Huloet. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • extenuate — 1520s, from L. extenuatus, pp. of extenuare lessen, make small, reduce, diminish, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + tenuare make thin, from tenuis thin (see TENET (Cf. tenet)). Related: Extenuated; …   Etymology dictionary

  • extenuate — vb 1 attenuate, *thin, dilute, rarefy Analogous words: diminish, lessen, reduce, *decrease: *weaken, enfeeble, debilitate: *moderate, temper, qualify Antonyms: intensify Contrasted words: aggravate, heighten, enhance (see INTENSIFY) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • extenuate — [v] lessen, mitigate decrease, diminish, downplay, excuse, justify, make allowances, minimize, moderate, palliate, qualify, reduce, soften; concepts 247,698,776 …   New thesaurus

  • extenuate — ► VERB 1) (usu. as adj. extenuating) lessen the seriousness of (an offence) by referring to a factor that helps excuse it. 2) (extenuated) literary thin. DERIVATIVES extenuation noun extenuatory adjective. ORIGIN …   English terms dictionary

  • extenuate — [ek sten′yo͞o āt΄, iksten′yo͞o āt΄] vt. extenuated, extenuating [< L extenuatus, pp. of extenuare < ex , out + tenuare, to make thin < tenuis, THIN] 1. Archaic to make thin or lean 2. Now Rare to diminish or weaken 3. to lessen or seem… …   English World dictionary

  • extenuate — extenuating, adj. extenuatingly, adv. extenuative, adj. extenuator, n. /ik sten yooh ayt /, v.t., extenuated, extenuating. 1. to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime. 2. to serve to make (a fault, offense,… …   Universalium