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The Collaborative International Dictionary

mitigating \mitigating\ adj. serving to reduce blame; -- of situations; as, mitigating factors; mitigating circumstances. Opposite of aggravating.

Syn: extenuating.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1779, from exculpate + -ory.


a. excusing or clearing of any wrongdoing.


adj. clearing of guilt or blame [ant: inculpatory]

Usage examples of "exculpatory".

Immediately after the admission of a certain amount of miscalculation, there comes a more or less exculpatory sentence which sounds so right that ninety-nine people out of a hundred would walk through it, unless led by some exigency of their own position to examine it closely but which yet upon examination proves to be as nearly meaningless as a sentence can be.

Marcus Crassus in the curule chairs, restoration of the tribunate of the plebs and an exculpatory plebiscite, followed by another plebiscite to give land to the men of both armies.

Robins uncovered potentially exculpatory evidence attorneys would use in future bids to get Bembenek a new trial.

These allegations were not deemed exculpatory by the rest of the assembly, who with one voice pronounced him guilty of unwarrantable rashness and indiscretion, which, in time coming, must undoubtedly operate to the prejudice of his character and credit.

Whether Jack was guilty or innocent, Lonnie would hustle up every shred of exculpatory evidence and plot, plan, maneuver, and strategize to establish his defense.

Crawley, in a voice very bitter, but still intended to be exculpatory of himself.

The only thing that could have saved him was some last-minute exculpatory evidence like proof that he was merely trying to obstruct justice after being caught with a chubby intern performing oral sex on him in his office.

Mei-Ling said, in a voice that sounded too pleading and exculpatory in her own ears.

As with many such petitions, mine recited that the defendant was being unjustly held, that the defendant was innocent, that hitherto unknown exculpatory evidence had recently come to light, and that the interests of justice would best be served by an expedited hearing on same.

Derringer warrants an indictment, regardless of the exculpatory evidence.