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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!