mitigating circumstance

noun

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

Comments on mitigating circumstance

What made you want to look up mitigating circumstance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!