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2 definitions found

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Ex·ten·u·ate v. t. [imp. & p. p. Extenuated p. pr. & vb. n. Extenuating ]
 1. 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.   --Grew.
 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.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

 extenuating
      adj : partially excusing or justifying; "extenuating
            circumstances"