extenuator

extenuate

[ik-sten-yoo-eyt]
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.
a.
to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
b.
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

extenuating, adjective
extenuative, adjective
extenuator, noun
nonextenuative, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

extenuate
1520s, from L. extenuat-, pp. stem of extenuare "lessen," from ex- "out" + tenuare "make thin," from tenuis "thin" (see tenet). Related: Extenuated; extenuating; extenuation.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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