- Usually extenuating circumstances. a circumstance that renders conduct less serious and thereby serves to reduce the damages to be awarded or the punishment to be imposed.
Origin of extenuating circumstance
Idioms and Phrases with extenuating circumstances
A situation or condition that provides an excuse for an action, as in Although Nancy missed three crucial rehearsals, there were extenuating circumstances, so she was not dismissed. This expression was originally legal terminology, denoting circumstances that partly excuse a crime and therefore call for less punishment or damages. [c. 1600]