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.
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
British Dictionary definitions for extenuate
- to emaciate or weaken
- to dilute or thin out
Word Origin for extenuate
Word Origin and History 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.