ex·ten·u·ate / ikˈstenyoōˌāt/ • v. [tr.] 1. [usu. as adj.] (extenuating) make (guilt or an offense) seem less serious or more forgivable: there were extenuating circumstances that caused me to say the things I did.2. [usu. as adj.] (extenuated) poetic/lit. make (someone) thin: drawings of extenuated figures.DERIVATIVES: ex·ten·u·a·tion / ikˌstenyoōˈāshən/ n.ex·ten·u·a·to·ry / -əˌtôrē/ adj.