Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act of extenuating or the condition of being extenuated; partial justification.
  • noun A partial excuse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of making thin; the process of growing thin or lean; the losing of flesh.
  • noun The act of making less, or that which makes less, in importance or degree; a diminishing of blame or guilt in fact or in estimation; mitigation; palliation: as, his faults deserve no extenuation; a charitable purpose is no extenuation of crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of axtenuating or the state of being extenuated; the act of making thin, slender, or lean, or of palliating; diminishing, or lessening; palliation, as of a crime; mitigation, as of punishment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The act of extenuating or the state of being extenuated; the act of making thin, slender, or lean, or of palliating; diminishing, or lessening; palliation, as of a crime; mitigation, as of punishment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a partial excuse to mitigate censure; an attempt to represent an offense as less serious than it appears by showing mitigating circumstances
  • noun to act in such a way as to cause an offense to seem less serious

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From extenuate.

Examples

  • I must say, in extenuation, that of optimists I am the most optimistic.

    Photo of Jack London On The Eastside of London

  • I must say, in extenuation, that of optimists I am the most optimistic.

    Jack London: The People of The Abyss

  • I can only say in extenuation, I owe to Dr. Riddell, whom I am very happy to see here today, my deep interest in the early days in international affairs.

    The New Face of the United Nations

  • Whether or not it introduced evidence on the issue of guilt or innocence, the defense may, after findings of guilty are announced and before the court closes to vote on the sentence, introduce matter in extenuation or mitigation.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10214

  • Whether or not he testified on the issue of guilt or innocence or as to matters in extenuation or mitigation, the accused may make an unsworn statement to the court in mitigation or extenuation of the offenses of which he stands convicted, but the right to make such an unsworn statement does not permit the filing of the affidavit of the accused.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10214

  • Matter in extenuation of an offense serves to explain the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense, including the reasons that actuated the accused but not extending to a legal justification.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10214

  • With respect to matter in extenuation and mitigation offered by the defense, the court may relax the rules of evidence to the extent of receiving affidavits, certificates of military and civil officers, and other writings of similar apparent authenticity and reliability.

    EXECUTIVE ORDER 10214

  • I must say, in extenuation, that I was very young at that time.

    Close to the War

  • The hospitality of the Dukhobors is usually without price, but Bill took what I proffered him, remarking in extenuation, and with a rising emphasis:

    Janey Canuck in the West

  • I must say, in extenuation, that of optimists I am the most optimistic.

    Author's Preface

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