- Present participle of extenuate.
The definition of extenuating is circumstances or facts that are lessening the severity of something or explaining bad behavior.
If you were starving when you stole a loaf of bread, your starvation is an example of an extenuating circumstance.
- In these Orestes is the guilt-laden mortal who is purified from his sin by the grace of the gods, whose merciful justice is shown to all persons whose crime is mitigated by extenuating circumstances.
- It was not till 1899 that the unfortunate prisoner was brought back to France for retrial by court-martial, and even then, so strong was the anti-Semitic and military prejudice, he was again found guilty "with extenuating circumstances" at Rennes (September 9), though ten days later he was "pardoned" by President Loubet.
- This part of Henrys policy is connected with the name of his two extortionate fiscal judges Empson and Dudley, who turned law and justice into rapine by their minute inquisition into all technical breaches of legality, and the nice fashion in which they adapted the fine to the wealth of the misdemeanant, without any reference to his moral guilt or any regard for extenuating circumstances.
- It was due to him that, in 1832, the right, so important in actual French practice, was given to juries to find "extenuating circumstances" in cases when guilt involved the death penalty.
- On these three considerations alone is based the conception of irresponsibility for crimes and the extenuating circumstances admitted by all legislative codes.