What does the word extenuate mean?

Usage examples for extenuate

  1. Cavour did not extenuate the gravity of the responsibility which he accepted when he advised the king to sign away national territory without the sanction of Parliament. – Cavour by Countess Evelyn Martinengo-Cesaresco
  2. He would not endeavour to extenuate his own conduct, but submitted that he was entitled to a lenient judgment, on the ground that a hare, the pursuit of which was the indirect cause of the whole mishap, had jumped up from behind a stone.... – When Ghost Meets Ghost by William Frend De Morgan
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