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apologise, apologize, excuse, justify, rationalise, rationalize
defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning
stand up, stick up
defend against attack or criticism
stand up for; stick up for; of causes, principles, or ideals
color, colour, gloss
give a deceptive explanation or excuse for
offer as an excuse or plea
extenuate, mitigate, palliate
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of