Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: , past participle of extenuare, from tenuis 'thin'

extenuating

adjective
     
ex‧ten‧u‧at‧ing

extenuating circumstances/factors etc

formal facts or reasons which make you feel that it was reasonable for someone to break the usual rules, or make you have sympathy for someone who did something wrong or illegal
extenuation noun [uncountable]

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