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[juhs-tuh-fahy-uh-buh l, juhs-tuh-fahy-] /ˈdʒʌs təˌfaɪ ə bəl, ˌdʒʌs təˈfaɪ-/
capable of being justified; that can be shown to be or can be defended as being just, right, or warranted; defensible:
justifiable homicide.
Origin of justifiable
From Middle French, dating back to 1515-25; See origin at justify, -able
Related forms
justifiability, justifiableness, noun
justifiably, adverb
unjustifiable, adjective
unjustifiableness, noun
unjustifiably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unjustifiable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This I imagine to be not ignorance, but unjustifiable license.

  • This did really seem to me a ruthless and unjustifiable proceeding.

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • He was half angry with himself for a step which now appeared so unjustifiable.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • And I cannot but think that the Dean has interfered in a most unjustifiable manner.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • Thousands of peaceful natives were treated with unjustifiable ferocity.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • Then I heard of some unjustifiable though, perhaps, natural things he said.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
  • Was there any torment ever so cruel, ever so unjustifiable as this!

    Cousin Henry

    Anthony Trollope
  • Your conduct is in the last degree illegal and unjustifiable.

    The Voyage of the Aurora Harry Collingwood
  • Further interference with the Hejaz, unless invited, would be unjustifiable.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
British Dictionary definitions for unjustifiable


not capable of being justified
Derived Forms
unjustifiably, adverb


capable of being justified; understandable
Derived Forms
justifiability, justifiableness, noun
justifiably, adverb
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 unjustifiable

1640s, from un- (1) "not" + justifiable. Related: Unjustifiably.



1520s, from Old French justifiable, from justifiier (see justify). Earlier in same sense was justificable (mid-15c.). Related: Justifiably (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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