[juhs-tuh-fahy-uh-buh l, juhs-tuh-fahy-]


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 formsjus·ti·fi·a·bil·i·ty, jus·ti·fi·a·ble·ness, nounjus·ti·fi·a·bly, adverbun·jus·ti·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·jus·ti·fi·a·ble·ness, nounun·jus·ti·fi·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for justifiability

Historical Examples of justifiability

  • The justifiability of this point of view may scarcely be disputed.

  • On the justifiability of such a course I do not understand that my opinion is asked.'

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan

  • She saw by the lifting of his eyebrows that he was impressed, that he secretly admitted the justifiability of her summons to him.

    The Pretty Lady

    Arnold E. Bennett

  • Among those who ventured to doubt the justifiability of the proposed marriage was Helene's mother, Princess Kuragina.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

British Dictionary definitions for justifiability



capable of being justified; understandable
Derived Formsjustifiability or justifiableness, nounjustifiably, 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

Word Origin and History for justifiability

1835, from justifiable + -ity.



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