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1. The act of extenuating or the condition of being extenuated; partial justification.
2. A partial excuse.


(ɪkˌstɛn yuˈeɪ ʃən)

1. the act of extenuating; the state of being extenuated.
2. something that extenuates; a partial excuse.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.extenuation - a partial excuse to mitigate censureextenuation - a partial excuse to mitigate censure; an attempt to represent an offense as less serious than it appears by showing mitigating circumstances
exculpation, excuse, self-justification, alibi - a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.; "he kept finding excuses to stay"; "every day he had a new alibi for not getting a job"; "his transparent self-justification was unacceptable"
2.extenuation - to act in such a way as to cause an offense to seem less serious
reduction, step-down, diminution, decrease - the act of decreasing or reducing something


n (= act)Verringerung f, → Minderung f, → Beschönigung f; (= extenuating factor)mildernde Umstände pl


[ɪkˌstɛnjʊˈeɪʃən] nattenuante f
References in classic literature ?
The circumstances of his marriage, too, were found to admit of much extenuation.
She turned white in the face, and drew her breath through her teeth in a savage sort of way; - but she offered no extenuation or defence; and with a kind of shameless calmness - shocking indeed to witness in one so young - as good as told me that my remonstrance was unavailing, and my pastoral advice quite thrown away upon her - nay, that my very presence was displeasing while I spoke such things.
Broadsides in the streets, signed with her father's name, exonerating the late Stephen Blackpool, weaver, from misplaced suspicion, and publishing the guilt of his own son, with such extenuation as his years and temptation (he could not bring himself to add, his education) might beseech; were of the Present.
Were such a man once more to fall, what plea could be urged in extenuation of his crime?
Forgive me, and let the greatness and the purity of my love for you plead in extenuation of my act.
I remember, when I was once interceding with the emperor for a criminal who had wronged his master of a great sum of money, which he had received by order and ran away with; and happening to tell his majesty, by way of extenuation, that it was only a breach of trust, the emperor thought it monstrous in me to offer as a defence the greatest aggravation of the crime; and truly I had little to say in return, farther than the common answer, that different nations had different customs; for, I confess, I was heartily ashamed.
He had to smile at that; but in extenuation of his act he assured me that it was quite customary for prime ministers to give their personal attention to the building of imperial navies; "and this," he said, "is the imperial navy of his Serene Highness, David I, Emperor of the Federated Kingdoms of Pellucidar.
But she doesn't look it," he thought in extenuation and was going to say something more to her about the lighting of that flare when another voice was heard in the companion, saying some indistinct words.
But the results, we know, were not of a kind to warrant this extenuation of the past.
It is because I love you so, Virginia," he hastened to urge in extenuation of his suggested disloyalty.
He argued with himself in extenuation of the girl's peculiar idiosyncrasies.
Maylie, nor Harry, nor Rose (who all came in together), could offer a word in extenuation.