Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “extenuate”

See all translations

extenuate

verb [T] uk   /ɪkˈsten.ju.eɪt/ formal us  
to cause a wrong act to be judged less seriously by giving reasons for it: He was unable to say anything that might have extenuated his behaviour.
extenuating
adjective [before noun] uk   /-eɪ.tɪŋ/ us    /-eɪ.t̬ɪŋ/ formal
She was found guilty of theft, but because of extenuating circumstances (= a situation which made her crime seem less serious) was not sent to prison.
extenuation
noun [U] uk   /ɪkˌsten.juˈeɪ.ʃən/ formal us  
Her plea of ignorance of the law in extenuation of (= as an excuse for) her crime was not accepted.
Translations of “extenuate”
in Chinese (Traditional) 為(錯誤行為)辯解…
in Chinese (Simplified) 为(错误行为)辩解…
(Definition of extenuate from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of extenuate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Word of the Day

past participle

the form of a verb, usually made by adding -ed, used in some grammatical structures such as the passive and the present perfect

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More