[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 justifiable

Contemporary Examples of justifiable

Historical Examples of justifiable

  • To desert a woman was justifiable, under certain circumstances.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Yet as a last resort to maintain the right, war is justifiable.

  • If your crime be treason, it cannot be justified; if it be justifiable, it is not treason.

  • Still, I almost think the word I substituted is justifiable.

    The Greater Power

    Harold Bindloss

  • Beyond this, however, no interference contrary to the parent's consent, is justifiable.

    The Teacher

    Jacob Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for justifiable



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 justifiable

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