extenuate

[ ik-sten-yoo-eyt ]
/ ɪkˈstɛn yuˌeɪt /
|

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.

Origin of extenuate

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

Related forms

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for extenuated

British Dictionary definitions for extenuated

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

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