Definition of diminished capacity in English:

diminished capacity


  • An unbalanced mental state that is considered to make a person less answerable for a crime and is recognized as grounds to reduce the charge.

    • ‘Those who kill and are convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility are no less dangerous than those convicted of murder, and yet the judge has sentencing discretion in one case and not in the other.’
    • ‘At first he pleaded not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility due to mental illness.’
    • ‘He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and was ordered to be detained in a secure hospital.’
    • ‘The appellant's main defence to the charge of murder was diminished responsibility.’
    • ‘On re-arraignment he pleaded guilty to her manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility, and that plea was accepted by the Crown.’