mitigation - definition and synonyms

noun [uncountable] 

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/ˌmɪtɪˈɡeɪʃ(ə)n/
  1. 2
    legal things that are said in a court of law to explain why someone committed a crime so that it seems less bad
    in mitigation:

    In mitigation, John Culver QC submitted that his client had been severely depressed at the time the offence was committed.

    in mitigation of something:

    The judge refused to accept any of the excuses put forward in mitigation of these serious offences.