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Adjective: extenuating  ik'ste-nyoo,ey-ting
  1. Partially excusing or justifying
    "extenuating circumstances"
Verb: extenuate  ik'ste-nyoo,eyt or ek'ste-nyoo,eyt
  1. (law) lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
    "The circumstances extenuate the crime";
    - palliate, mitigate

See also: exculpatory

Type of: apologise [Brit], apologize, excuse, rationalise [Brit], rationalize