Legal Definition of mitigating circumstance
: a circumstance in the commission of an act that lessens the degree of criminal culpability was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder because of mitigating circumstances also : a circumstance or factor relating to an offense or defendant that does not bear on the question of culpability but that receives consideration by the court especially in lessening the severity of a sentence the mitigating circumstance of the defendant's terminal illness — compare aggravating circumstance
to form ideas or theories about something
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
Words at Play
Ask the Editors
- On Contractions of Multiple Words
- A Look at Uncommon Onomatopoeia
- Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?
- Farm Idioms Quiz Take the quiz
- Up in the Sky: A Quiz Take the quiz
- Name That Thing Take the quiz
- SCRABBLE® Sprint Play the game