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Meaning of EXTENUATE

Pronunciation:  ik'stenyoo`eyt

WordNet Dictionary
[v]  lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of; "The circumstances extenuate the crime"

EXTENUATE is a 9 letter word that starts with E.


 Synonyms: mitigate, palliate
 See Also: apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise, rationalize



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Ex*ten"u*ate\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Extenuated}; p.
    pr. & vb. n. {Extenuating}.] [L. extenuatus, p. p. of
    extenuare to make thin, loosen, weaken; ex out + tenuare to
    make thin, tenuis thin. See {Tenuity}.]
    1. To make thin or slender; to draw out so as to lessen the
             His body behind the head becomes broad, from whence
             it is again extenuated all the way to the tail.
    2. 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. --Dryden.
             Let us extenuate, conceal, adorn the unpleasing
             reality.                              --I. Taylor.
    3. To lower or degrade; to detract from. [Obs.]
             Who can extenuate thee?               --Milton.
    Syn: To palliate; to mitigate. See {Palliate}.
  2. \Ex*ten"u*ate\, v. i.
    To become thinner; to make excuses; to advance palliating
    considerations. --Burke.
  3. \Ex*ten"u*ate\, a. [L. extenuatus, p. p.]
    Thin; slender. [Obs.] --Huloet.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: abate, allay, alleviate, allow for, apologize, assuage, attemper, attenuate, bank the fire, bate, blunt, chasten, color, constrain, control, cramp, cripple, damp, dampen, deaden, debilitate, de-emphasize, devitalize, dilute, diminish, downplay, dull, ease, enervate, enfeeble, eviscerate, exhaust, explain, gloss over, gruel, ignore, justify, keep within bounds, lay, lay low, lenify, lessen, lighten, make allowance for, mince, mitigate, moderate, modulate, obtund, palliate, play down, qualify, rationalize, rattle, reduce, reduce the temperature, remit, restrain, sap, shake, shake up, slacken, slow down, slur over, smother, sober, sober down, soften, soften up, soft-pedal, stifle, subdue, sugarcoat, suppress, tame, temper, tone down, tune down, unbrace, undermine, underplay, unman, unnerve, unstrengthen, unstring, varnish, veneer, water down, weaken, white, whiten, whitewash