- 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 for justify on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for justified
And, in the case of fluoride, at least, that doubt might actually be justified.Anti-Fluoriders Are The OG Anti-Vaxxers
July 27, 2016
These detainments were often justified by laws that do not mention pregnancy specifically.Court Says Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Isn’t a Crime
December 9, 2014
And sure, we can debate whether from a legal point of view these shootings were justified.Arabs Are the Michael Browns of Israel
December 3, 2014
I do not support the belief that violent protest is justified regardless of the outcome of the Ferguson grand jury.Justice Was Served in Ferguson—This Isn’t Jim Crow America
November 25, 2014
There is no doubt that meth is destructive, and a clampdown is justified.Chinese Getting Hooked on the Middle East's Favorite Drug
October 20, 2014
There was so much to tell, more than could ever be explained or justified.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
It was for them to consider how far they were justified in complying with his request.
Why, she is justified in a way, in her own mind anyhow, I mean.Within the Law
Every one must admit, I think, that what Tolstoi has said of the hypothesis of the play is justified.The Man Shakespeare
Whether this decision was justified or not the reader shall decide.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
- (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 justified
1580s, "made right," past participle adjective from justify. Typesetting sense is from 1670s.
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.