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.
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.
- jus·ti·fi·er, noun
- jus·ti·fy·ing·ly, adverb
- pre·jus·ti·fy, verb (used with object), pre·jus·ti·fied, pre·jus·ti·fy·ing.
- re·jus·ti·fy, verb (used with object), re·jus·ti·fied, re·jus·ti·fy·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use justify in a sentence
Agencies need to be able to quickly justify why performance has changed and what steps can be taken to address these fluctuations — positive or negative.
Attorney Frank Crivelli, who said he negotiated contracts on behalf of police unions in at least 40 towns, said the dangers and challenges of police work justify the price in New Jersey.How the Police Bank Millions Through Their Union Contracts | by Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press, and Agnes Chang, Jeff Kao and Agnel Philip, ProPublica | February 8, 2021 | ProPublica
I planned to explore questions about journalistic ethics and whether the ends of getting a scoop that might change history and save lives can ever justify lying to a source.
Why America is 'flying blind' to the coronavirus mutations racing across the globeStates cannot point to hard data to justify aggressive measures to contain the spread of dangerous mutations.U.S. response to coronavirus variants emphasizes masks and vaccines instead of lockdowns | Fenit Nirappil, Brittany Shammas | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
GameStop’s share price, which approached $500 at one point, had clearly become untethered from the financial metrics that traditionally justify rising prices.The GameStop stock craze is about a populist uprising against Wall Street. But it’s more complicated than that. | David J. Lynch | February 1, 2021 | Washington Post
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 | Arthur Chu | January 3, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Parker Molloy | January 1, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Candida Moss | December 18, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Like many other Pakistani Taliban, Jamal has his own horror stories to tell, which he believes can justify any bloody retribution.
With women put in front of the public to justify staying with bad men, we see these justifications in full bloom.
But this is quite enough to justify the inconsiderable expense which the experiment I urge would involve.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
He may be a lessee, agent, or having such possession and control as would justify him in thus acting.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
Put me in remembrance, and let us plead together: tell if thou hast any thing to justify thyself.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
Does the experience of the last ten years justify the country in placing confidence, on such a point, in a Whig Ministry?
Should the alliance between the two professions be questioned, the following case will justify our assertion.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
British Dictionary definitions for justify
(often passive) to prove or see to be just or valid; vindicate: he was certainly justified in taking the money
to show to be reasonable; warrant or substantiate: his 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 theol to account or declare righteous by the imputation of Christ's merits to the sinner
RC theol to 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
- justifier, noun
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