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]
Words nearby extenuating circumstances
How to use extenuating circumstances in a sentence
The inquiry naturally occurs, Are there no extenuating circumstances to be adduced on the part of the Japanese?
I will gladly hear any extenuating circumstances that you may give, for I am loth to believe that you are guilty of treachery.A Daughter of the Union|Lucy Foster Madison
Ralph attempted no apology, or excused himself by extenuating circumstances.The Camp Fire Girls at the End of the Trail|Margaret Vandercook
He alone can judge how far the cruelty of Mr. Elliot was the outcome of extenuating circumstances.The Longest Journey|E. M. Forster
In the case of any extenuating circumstances, the culprit may be sent to penal servitude with hard labour for twenty years.The Invasion|William Le Queux