- 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 justify
Does the sending of the message “justify” the tragedy that caused it?Cover-Ups and Concern Trolls: Actually, It's About Ethics in Suicide Journalism
January 3, 2015
No more allowing people to justify their bigotry by spouting a cherry-picked Bible verse.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
This story was used by some third-century North African Christians to justify the practice of women performing baptisms.First Anglican Woman Bishop A Return to Christian Roots
December 18, 2014
Like many other Pakistani Taliban, Jamal has his own horror stories to tell, which he believes can justify any bloody retribution.Pakistani School Killers Want to Strike the U.S.
Sami Yousafzai, Christopher Dickey
December 17, 2014
With women put in front of the public to justify staying with bad men, we see these justifications in full bloom.Why Didn’t Camille Dump Bill Cosby?
December 17, 2014
How could he justify himself to her when he did not really know himself?Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
When he remained silent, she made an attempt to justify herself.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Who is there amongst you who cannot or who will not justify when they are accused?Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Aristocracy, like any other thing, must justify itself to mankind.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
God will not justify him, if he has a bad conscience or blunders in his philosophy.Slavery Ordained of God
Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.
- (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 justify
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.