- to show (an act, claim, statement, etc.) to be just or right: The end does not always justify the means.
- to defend or uphold as warranted or well-grounded: Don't try to justify his rudeness.
- Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.
- to make (a line of type) a desired length by spacing the words and letters, especially so that full lines in a column have even margins both on the left and on the right.
- to level and square (a strike).
- to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done.
- to qualify as bail or surety.
- Printing. (of a line of type) to fit exactly into a desired length.
Origin of justify
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for justifies
There is no such thing as speech so hateful or offensive it somehow “justifies” or “legitimizes” the use of violence.Trolls and Martyrdom: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie
January 9, 2015
But AM-2 is not a friend to the agility that justifies the F-35B over other forms of expeditionary airpower.Why Can’t America’s Newest Stealth Jet Land Like It’s Supposed To?
May 26, 2014
He justifies this controversial predilection by explaining, "Drakkar reminds me of me, and I love me."Why Women Want Hollywood Lothario Wilmer Valderrama
April 9, 2014
If you are onto a truly great story, it justifies nearly any expense and every vice.Tom Reiss: How I Write
August 14, 2013
We should know that the term Amalek is bad not just because of whom it targets, but because of the violence it justifies.What Happens When We Call People 'Amalek'
July 17, 2013
There is nothing in the fragments of Heracleitus which at all justifies Plato's account of him.Theaetetus
What is there in my character, in my life, that justifies it?The Christian
Moreover, the merchant by specious reasoning often justifies his own conduct.The Negro Farmer
This justifies the most special researches and the most futile in all appearance.Introduction to the Study of History
Charles V. Langlois
D'you say that justifies me in shedding the blood of my boss?The Foundations (Fourth Series Plays)
- (often passive) to prove or see to be just or valid; vindicatehe was certainly justified in taking the money
- to show to be reasonable; warrant or substantiatehis behaviour justifies our suspicion
- to declare or show to be free from blame or guilt; absolve
- to show good reason in court for (some action taken)
- to show adequate grounds for doing (that with which a person is charged)to justify a libel
- (also intr) printing computing to adjust the spaces between words in (a line of type or data) so that it is of the required length or (of a line of type or data) to fit exactly
- Protestant theolto account or declare righteous by the imputation of Christ's merits to the sinner
- RC theolto change from sinfulness to righteousness by the transforming effects of grace
- (also intr) law to prove (a person) to have sufficient means to act as surety, etc, or (of a person) to qualify to provide bail or surety
Word Origin and History for justifies
c.1300, "to administer justice;" late 14c., "to show (something) to be just or right," from Old French justifiier "submit to court proceedings" (12c.), from Latin iustificare "act justly toward, make just," from iustificus "dealing justly, righteous," from iustus "just" (see just (adj.)) + root of facere "to do" (see factitious). Of circumstances, "to afford justification," from 1630s. Meaning "to make exact" (now largely restricted to typesetting) is from 1550s. Related: Justified; justifying.