- to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime.
- to serve to make (a fault, offense, etc.) seem less serious.
- to underestimate, underrate, or make light of: Do not extenuate the difficulties we are in.
- to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
- to reduce the consistency or density of.
Origin of extenuate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for extenuated
She neither denied nor extenuated the crime, and she acknowledged it to have been premeditated.The Eternal City
There are things which cannot be extenuated however we may try to palliate them.The Coming Conquest of England
No defect is extenuated, nor is there any patriotic exaggeration of merits.The Philippine Islands
Ramon Reyes Lala
Again, you say I not only extenuated the conduct of the obstructionists, but justified it.Lord Randolph Churchill
Winston Spencer Churchill
Weakened, exhausted, extenuated as he is, how can he endure it?The Clique of Gold
- to represent (an offence, a fault, etc) as being less serious than it appears, as by showing mitigating circumstances
- to cause to be or appear less serious; mitigate
- to underestimate or make light of
- to emaciate or weaken
- to dilute or thin out
C16: from Latin extenuāre to make thin, from tenuis thin, frail
Word Origin and History for extenuated
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper