Sunday, February 25, 2007
Extenuate (transitive verb) – A long time ago, this word meant “to lessen the strength of something” or “to make something emaciated,” but those meanings have fallen out of use. Nowadays, this word is most often heard in legal connotations such as “extenuating circumstances.” It means “to lessen the magnitude of something,” so you can see how part of its old meaning has carried forward. If you make something appear less-blameworthy for a crime or less guilty of some act, then you extenuate it.
Word in a Sentence: In my novel Choices Meant for Gods, Mia’s sympathy for Nigel’s plight extenuates her actions in hiding his highest crime from the authorities.
Your turn! Been watching any Law & Order lately? I bet you can write a great sentence with this word with a little Sam Waterson (isn’t that Jack McCoy’s actor’s name?) inspiration. Yummy.
“Some days, you just want the dragon to win.”
Tags: Choices Meant for Gods, Sandy Lender, grammar, word