Advanced and Proficiency Vocabulary for Exams(e.g.GRE, Banks, Civil Services, SAT / LSAT). For IELTS/TOEFL, and everyday spoken vocabulary, go to our Spoken Vocabulary Database.

extenuate | extenuation | extenuating

extenuate extenuation extenuating
lesson the seriousness of something
  • How to Memorize
    • extenuate - excuse
  • Analysis

    To ‘extenuate’ is to lessen the importance or seriousness of something, such as a mistake or offence. In other words, it makes something forgivable. This is typically achieved by putting forward a consideration to mitigate or excuse your wrongdoing. For that reason, this formal term is often used with the word 'circumstances'.

  • Exam DBSpoken DBOther
    Synonymsmitigatejustify, diminish,
  • Example(s)
    1. The defendant's lawyer tried to extenuate the crimes her client had committed, but the judge did not believe a word of it.

    2. There were extenuating circumstances for my lateness. The bus broke down and a replacement did not arrive for another 45 minutes.

    3. The employee claimed that the mistake wasn’t his fault, but couldn’t offer anything as an extenuation.