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English definition of “mitigating”

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mitigating

adjective uk   /ˈmɪt.ɪ.ɡeɪ.tɪŋ/ us    /ˈmɪt̬.ɪ.ɡeɪ.t̬ɪŋ/
formal making something less harmful, unpleasant, or bad: Are there any mitigating circumstances/factors that might help explain her appalling behaviour?
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specialized law causing you to judge a crime to be less serious or to make the punishment less severe: The jury must take into account any mitigating circumstances presented by the defence, such as previous good character.
mitigation
noun [U] uk   /ˌmɪt.ɪˈɡeɪ.ʃən/ us    /ˌmɪt̬-/ formal
"I was very young at the time," he said in mitigation.
(Definition of mitigating from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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