Meaning of extenuate

ex•ten•u•ate

Pronunciation: (ik-sten'y-āt"), [key]
— -at•ed, -at•ing.
  1. to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime.
  2. to serve to make (a fault, offense, etc.) seem less serious.
  3. to underestimate, underrate, or make light of: Do not extenuate the difficulties we are in.
    1. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
    2. to reduce the consistency or density of.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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