extenuate | extenuation | extenuating

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Civil Services



lesson the seriousness of something

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extenuate - excuse

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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'.

Synonyms justify,diminish
Antonyms ferment

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  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.

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