aggravating circumstance

noun

Legal Definition of aggravating circumstance

: a circumstance relating to the commission of an act that increases the degree of liability or culpability punitive damages are recoverable in a conversion case when the evidence shows legal malice, willfulness, insult, or other aggravating circumstancesSchwertfeger v. Moorehouse, 569 So. 2d 322 (1990) also : a circumstance (as lack of remorse) relating to an offense or defendant that receives consideration by the court especially in imposing a death sentence — compare mitigating circumstance

Learn More about aggravating circumstance

Cite this Entry

“Aggravating circumstance.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/aggravating%20circumstance. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!