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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for unjustifiable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The public opinion of the various powers considers the conduct of the Japanese as unjustifiable and unreasonable.

    Japan Various
  • Further interference with the Hejaz, unless invited, would be unjustifiable.

    Pan-Islam George Wyman Bury
  • Demurrage is generally given against a captor for unjustifiable detention.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • He knew that Harris had left him in anger and indignation not unjustifiable.

  • You coupled my name with the name of a lady in a most unjustifiable manner and I want your explanation here and now.

    The Ghost Girl H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • He had been deceived in a manner which seemed to him unjustifiable from beginning to end.

    A True Friend Adeline Sergeant
  • The Havana trade, notwithstanding the important advantages it affords to Spain, meets with the most unjustifiable interruptions.

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

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • Secondly, I arraign it in the name of Freedom, as an unjustifiable departure from the original Antislavery policy of our fathers.

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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