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tr.v. ex·ten·u·at·ed, ex·ten·u·at·ing, ex·ten·u·ates
1. To lessen or appear to lessen the seriousness or extent of (an offense, for example), especially by providing partial excuses: extenuated his crime as part of his testimony.
a. To make thin or emaciated.
b. To mitigate or lessen.
c. To belittle; disparage.
[Latin extenuāre, extenuāt- : ex-, ex- + tenuāre, to make thin (from tenuis, thin; see ten- in Indo-European roots).]
ex·ten′u·a′tive adj. & n.
ex·ten′u·a·to′ry (-ə-tôr′ē) adj.
1. (Law) to represent (an offence, a fault, etc) as being less serious than it appears, as by showing mitigating circumstances
2. to cause to be or appear less serious; mitigate
3. to underestimate or make light of
a. to emaciate or weaken
b. to dilute or thin out
[C16: from Latin extenuāre to make thin, from tenuis thin, frail]
v.t. -at•ed, -at•ing.
1. to make or try to make seem less serious esp. by offering excuses: extenuating circumstances.
a. to make light of.
b. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
c. to reduce the consistency or density of.
[1375–1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin extenuātus, past participle of extenuāre=ex- ex-1 + tenuāre to make thin]
ex•ten′u•a`tive, ex•ten′u•a•to`ry (-əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i) adj.
extenuate- Comes from the Latin verb extenuare, "make thin or lean," and originally meant "to treat as of small importance, make light of."
See also related terms for lean.
Past participle: extenuated
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|Verb||1.||extenuate - lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of; "The circumstances extenuate the crime"|
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"