extenuate

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extenuate

(iksten´ūāt´),
v to lessen; to mitigate.
References in classic literature ?
I am so determined to love him, so intensely anxious to excuse his errors, that I am continually dwelling upon them, and labouring to extenuate the loosest of his principles and the worst of his practices, till I am familiarised with vice, and almost a partaker in his sins.
In this controversy the whole company spoke together, and every man seemed wholly bent to extenuate the sum which fell to his share; so that the most probable conclusion which could be foreseen was, that a large portion of the reckoning would fall to the landlord's share to pay, or (what is much the same thing) would remain unpaid.
What somewhat extenuates Laski's inventions, however, is that they lacked malice and were mostly self-puffery.