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[juhs-tis] /ˈdʒʌs tɪs/
the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness:
to uphold the justice of a cause.
rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason:
to complain with justice.
the moral principle determining just conduct.
conformity to this principle, as manifested in conduct; just conduct, dealing, or treatment.
the administering of deserved punishment or reward.
the maintenance or administration of what is just by law, as by judicial or other proceedings:
a court of justice.
judgment of persons or causes by judicial process:
to administer justice in a community.
a judicial officer; a judge or magistrate.
(initial capital letter). Also called Justice Department. the Department of Justice.
bring to justice, to cause to come before a court for trial or to receive punishment for one's misdeeds:
The murderer was brought to justice.
do justice,
  1. to act or treat justly or fairly.
  2. to appreciate properly:
    We must see this play again to do it justice.
  3. to acquit in accordance with one's abilities or potentialities:
    He finally got a role in which he could do himself justice as an actor.
Origin of justice
1150-1200; Middle English < Old French < Latin jūstitia, equivalent to jūst(us) just1 + -itia -ice
Related forms
justiceless, adjective
Can be confused
judge, justice (see synonym study at judge)


[juhs-tis] /ˈdʒʌs tɪs/
Donald, 1925–2004, U.S. poet.
a town in NE Illinois. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for justice
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That you will take tea with us to-morrow evening, and help us do justice to them.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • My object in calling upon him was to induce him to do me justice at last.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • We did justice to the supper, as we had not had anything to eat for thirty-two hours.

  • To do him justice, he would have done almost as much for them,—for any of them.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • They have claims on the magnanimity and, I may add, on the justice of this nation which we must all feel.

British Dictionary definitions for justice


the quality or fact of being just
  1. the principle of fairness that like cases should be treated alike
  2. a particular distribution of benefits and burdens fairly in accordance with a particular conception of what are to count as like cases
  3. the principle that punishment should be proportionate to the offence
the administration of law according to prescribed and accepted principles
conformity to the law; legal validity
a judge of the Supreme Court of Judicature
good reason (esp in the phrase with justice): he was disgusted by their behaviour, and with justice
do justice to
  1. to show to full advantage: the picture did justice to her beauty
  2. to show full appreciation of by action: he did justice to the meal
  3. to treat or judge fairly
do oneself justice, to make full use of one's abilities
bring to justice, to capture, try, and usually punish (a criminal, an outlaw, etc)
Word Origin
C12: from Old French, from Latin jūstitia, from justusjust
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for justice

mid-12c., "the exercise of authority in vindication of right by assigning reward or punishment;" also "quality of being fair and just," from Old French justice "justice, legal rights, jurisdiction" (11c.), from Latin iustitia "righteousness, equity," from iustus "upright, just" (see just (adj.)). The Old French word had widespread senses, including "uprightness, equity, vindication of right, court of justice, judge." The word began to be used in English c.1200 as a title for a judicial officer. Meaning "right order, equity" is late 14c. Justice of the peace first attested early 14c. In the Mercian hymns, Latin iustitia is glossed by Old English rehtwisnisse. To do justice to (someone or something) "render fully and fairly showing due appreciation" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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justice in Culture

Justice definition

A figure in painting and sculpture that symbolizes the impartiality of true justice. The figure of Justice usually appears as a blindfolded woman with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with justice
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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