• WordNet 3.6
    • v extenuate lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of "The circumstances extenuate the crime"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Extenuate Thin; slender.
    • v. i Extenuate To become thinner; to make excuses; to advance palliating considerations.
    • Extenuate To lessen; to palliate; to lessen or weaken the force of; to diminish the conception of, as crime, guilt, faults, ills, accusations, etc.; -- opposed to aggravate. "But fortune there extenuates the crime.""Let us extenuate , conceal, adorn the unpleasing reality."
    • Extenuate To lower or degrade; to detract from. "Who can extenuate thee?"
    • Extenuate To make thin or slender; to draw out so as to lessen the thickness. "His body behind the head becomes broad, from whence it is again extenuated all the way to the tail."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • extenuate To make thin, lean, slender, or rare; reduce in thickness or density; draw out; attenuate.
    • extenuate To make smaller in degree or appearance; make less blamable in fact or in estimation; lower in importance or degree, as a fault or crime; mitigate; palliate: opposed to aggravate.
    • extenuate To detract from, as a person or thing; lessen in honor, estimation, or importance.
    • extenuate Synonyms See palliate.
    • extenuate To become thin or thinner or more slender; be drawn out or attenuated.
    • extenuate Thin; slender.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Extenuate eks-ten′ū-āt to lessen: to underrate: to weaken the force of: to palliate
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  • William Shakespeare
    “Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. extenuatus, p. p. of extenuare, to make thin, loosen, weaken; ex, out + tenuare, to make thin, tenuis, thin. See Tenuity
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. extenuāre, -ātumex, inten., tenuis, thin.


In literature:

There is not one extenuating circumstance to temper the indignation of him who believes in justice and humanity.
"Black and White" by Timothy Thomas Fortune
The existence of Nihilism may be explained, though not extenuated.
"A Short History of Russia" by Mary Platt Parmele
He says he is going to plead 'extenuating circumstances,' if he is brought to the bar.
"Miss Dexie" by Stanford Eveleth
There may be, I believe there are, extenuating circumstances.
"The False Gods" by George Horace Lorimer
Let this serve to extenuate my culpability towards you.
"Strange Pages from Family Papers" by T. F. Thiselton Dyer
I hope the recording angel will take into account the extenuating circumstances of that lie.
""Over There" with the Australians" by R. Hugh Knyvett
I admit that I did wrong, but there are extenuating circumstances.
"The Guinea Stamp" by Annie S. Swan
Perhaps there were extenuating conditions for her.
"The Courage of Marge O'Doone" by James Oliver Curwood
For myself, I knew of nothing to say in extenuation of my speech.
"Dead Man's Rock" by Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
Unless I can find an interest, an extenuation, I would rather be dead, a hundred times over.
"Ben Blair" by Will Lillibridge

In poetry:

I do not extenuate Bunyan’s
Intemperate use of onions,
But if I knew a wicked agress
I would lend her The Pilgrim’s Progress.
"Clerihew – Bunyan" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley

In news:

Extenuating circumstance prompted Butler proxy votes.
Extenuating circumstance prompted Butler proxy votes.
"There were a lot of extenuating circumstances that led to the death of Nautical Disaster, both private and public," writes Berkeley Kent Austin, singer-guitarist for San Diego psych-rockers Heart Beat Trail.
OSU believed the NCAA, which allows provisions for extenuating circumstances, would grant the appeal as it has done in similar cases.
But I do so with extenuating circumstances.
The jury is still out on whether extenuating factors from around the world will impact the US economy and send us into another recession by 2014.
Philip Dosskey was recently booked into the Pierce County jail and charged with retail theft with extenuating circumstances.

In science:

Figure 22: Typical extenuation figure obtained in the K band region during our piezo scan.
AMBER Task Force February 2008 run report
The red line is the fit of the extenuation function whose parameters are available in the upper right corner of the box.
AMBER Task Force February 2008 run report
Such defocussing of the slit induces a loss of spectral resolution, and the extenuation of the visibility with the piston (sect. E.3 worsens: in LR mode, the maximum tolerable piston drops to ±20 microns.
AMBER Task Force February 2008 run report
Table 2 presents the ’equivalent coherence length’ ∆λ of the extenuation of V 2 as a function of piston ’opd’.
AMBER Task Force February 2008 run report