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extenuate

[ ik-sten-yoo-eyt ]
/ ɪkˈstɛn yuˌeɪt /
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See synonyms for: extenuate / extenuating / extenuative on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), ex·ten·u·at·ed, ex·ten·u·at·ing.
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.
Archaic.
  1. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
  2. to reduce the consistency or density of.
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Origin of extenuate

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin extenuātus, past participle of extenuāre, equivalent to ex- ex-1 + tenuāre “to make thin or small”; see origin at thin;see also -ate1

OTHER WORDS FROM extenuate

ex·ten·u·at·ing, adjectiveex·ten·u·a·tive, adjectiveex·ten·u·a·tor, nounnon·ex·ten·u·a·tive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use extenuate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for extenuate

extenuate
/ (ɪkˈstɛnjʊˌeɪt) /

verb (tr)
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
archaic
  1. to emaciate or weaken
  2. to dilute or thin out

Derived forms of extenuate

extenuating, adjectiveextenuation, nounextenuator, nounextenuatory, adjective

Word Origin for extenuate

C16: from Latin extenuāre to make thin, from tenuis thin, frail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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