verb (used with object), ex·ten·u·at·ed, ex·ten·u·at·ing.
- to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
- to reduce the consistency or density of.
- extensor muscle of fingers,
- extensor muscle of index finger,
- extensor muscle of little finger,
- extensor retinaculum,
- extenuating circumstance,
- extenuating circumstances,
Origin of extenuate
Examples from the Web for extenuate
To extenuate her act—to give you her version, because she feared his might be worse?The Fruit of the Tree|Edith Wharton
There was a vindictiveness in these crimes which no plea can extenuate.The Land We Live In|Henry Mann
Whatever crimes may be condoned in Alexander, it is difficult to extenuate this traffic with the Turks.Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7)|John Addington Symonds
He felt it useless to quibble or to try to extenuate the facts.The Street Called Straight|Basil King
He now endeavoured to extenuate the faults of the Colonel; and, in the place of an accuser, became his benevolent champion.The Tiger Hunter|Mayne Reid
- to emaciate or weaken
- to dilute or thin out
Word Origin for extenuate
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.