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extenuating

[ik-sten-yoo-ey-ting] /ɪkˈstɛn yuˌeɪ tɪŋ/
adjective
1.
serving to make a fault, offense, etc., appear less serious:
The judge gave him a comparatively mild sentence due to extenuating circumstances.
Origin
Related forms
extenuatingly, adverb
nonextenuating, adjective
nonextenuatingly, adverb
unextenuating, adjective
unextenuatingly, adverb

extenuate

[ik-sten-yoo-eyt] /ɪkˈstɛn yuˌeɪt/
verb (used with object), extenuated, extenuating.
1.
to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious:
to extenuate a crime.
2.
to serve to make (a fault, offense, etc.) seem less serious.
3.
to underestimate, underrate, or make light of:
Do not extenuate the difficulties we are in.
4.
Archaic.
  1. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
  2. to reduce the consistency or density of.
Origin
1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin extenuātus, past participle of extenuāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + tenuāre to make thin or small; see -ate1
Related forms
extenuating, adjective
extenuative, adjective
extenuator, noun
nonextenuative, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for extenuating
  • Yet there were extenuating circumstances.
  • The appeals court also found general extenuating factors that avoided your indictment.
  • Life is one long series of extenuating circumstances.
  • The company will make exceptions under extenuating circumstances.
  • Most universities will allow for such extenuating circumstances.
  • The pleasantries, though, belied a litany of extenuating issues between the two former rivals.
British Dictionary definitions for extenuating

extenuate

/ɪkˈstɛnjʊˌeɪt/
verb (transitive)
1.
to represent (an offence, a fault, etc) as being less serious than it appears, as by showing mitigating circumstances
2.
to cause to be or appear less serious; mitigate
3.
to underestimate or make light of
4.
(archaic)
  1. to emaciate or weaken
  2. to dilute or thin out
Derived Forms
extenuating, adjective
extenuation, noun
extenuator, noun
extenuatory, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin extenuāre to make thin, from tenuis thin, frail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for extenuating

extenuate

v.

1520s, from Latin extenuatus, past participle of extenuare "lessen, make small, reduce, diminish," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Extenuated; extenuating. Extenuating circumstances attested from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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