extenuation

[ik-sten-yoo-ey-shuhn]
noun
1.
the act of extenuating.
2.
the state of being extenuated.
3.
something that extenuates; a partial excuse: The youth of the defendant served as an extenuation.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English extenuacioun < Latin extenuātiōn- (stem of extenuātiō). See extenuate, -ion

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World English Dictionary
extenuate (ɪkˈstɛnjʊˌeɪt)
 
vb
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
 a.  to emaciate or weaken
 b.  to dilute or thin out
 
[C16: from Latin extenuāre to make thin, from tenuis thin, frail]
 
ex'tenuating
 
adj
 
extenu'ation
 
n
 
ex'tenuator
 
n
 
ex'tenuatory
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Sometimes-it can hardly be said in extenuation-the heel that crunches is applied in saddening ignorance.
It may not be feasible to make this extenuation a consistent one.
The conditions were favorable for remembrance of all his good deeds, and
  generous extenuation of all his evil ones.
Little evidence of mitigation, extenuation or rehabilitation was received.
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