verb (used with object), jus·ti·fied, jus·ti·fy·ing.

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.
  1. 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.
  2. to level and square (a strike).

verb (used without object), jus·ti·fied, jus·ti·fy·ing.

  1. to show a satisfactory reason or excuse for something done.
  2. to qualify as bail or surety.
Printing. (of a line of type) to fit exactly into a desired length.

Nearby words

  1. justification,
  2. justification by grace, through faith,
  3. justification by works,
  4. justificatory,
  5. justified,
  6. justify the ways of god to men, to,
  7. justin,
  8. justin martyr,
  9. justin martyr, saint,
  10. justine

Origin of justify

1250–1300; Middle English justifien < Old French justifier < Late Latin jūstificāre, equivalent to Latin jūsti- (combining form of jūstus just1) + -ficāre -fy

Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for well-justified

British Dictionary definitions for well-justified


adjective (well justified when postpositive)

having been shown, proved, or validated satisfactorily


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (mainly tr)

(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
  1. to show good reason in court for (some action taken)
  2. 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
  1. Protestant theolto account or declare righteous by the imputation of Christ's merits to the sinner
  2. 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
Derived Formsjustifier, noun

Word Origin for justify

C14: from Old French justifier, from Latin justificāre, from jūstus just + facere to make

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 well-justified



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper