Pronunciation: (ik-sten'yOO-āt"), [key]
—v.t., -at•ed, -at•ing.
1. to represent (a fault, offense, etc.) as less serious: to extenuate a crime.
2. to serve to make (a fault, offense, etc.) seem less serious.
3. to underestimate, underrate, or make light of: Do not extenuate the difficulties we are in.
a. to make thin, lean, or emaciated.
b. to reduce the consistency or density of.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.