: to lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of (something, such as a fault or offense) by making partial excuses : mitigate
- There is no economic analysis that can extenuate bigotry.
- —Leon Wieseltier
— see also extenuating
- … all the lies that society tells to justify its values and extenuate its conduct …
- —Robert Penn Warren
: to lessen the strength or effect of (something) : weaken
- … it was true that he was an old friend and that … she felt a desire not to extenuate such ties.
- —Henry James
: to make light of
: to make thin or emaciated