[ self-juhs-tuh-fahy-ing, self- ]

  1. offering excuses for oneself, especially in excess of normal demands.

  2. automatically adjusting printed or typed lines to fill a given space, especially to conform to a rigid margin.

Origin of self-justifying

First recorded in 1730–40

Words Nearby self-justifying Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use self-justifying in a sentence

  • And it was to them, and to some future self-justifying narrative, that Morsi was really speaking.

  • The rules which obtain among themselves appear to them self-evident and self-justifying.

    On Liberty | John Stuart Mill
  • The presentation of facts is self-justifying only when the facts are developed in their true proportion.

    The Armed Forces Officer | U. S. Department of Defense
  • And it is of the nature of vanity and arrogance, if unchecked, to become cruel and self-justifying.

  • And in these days of his first devotion to Romola he needed a self-justifying argument.

    Romola | George Eliot

British Dictionary definitions for self-justifying


  1. offering excuses for one's behaviour, often when they are not called for

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