jus·​tice | \ ˈjə-stəs How to pronounce justice (audio) \

Definition of justice

1a : the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments meting out justice social justice
b : judge a supreme court justice used as a titleJustice Marshall
c : the administration of law a fugitive from justice especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity a system of justice
2a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair questioned the justice of the their decision
b(1) : the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action
(2) : conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness the justice of their cause
c : the quality of conforming to law
3 : conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness admitted that there was much justice in these observations— T. L. Peacock

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Synonyms & Antonyms for justice



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Examples of justice in a Sentence

They received justice in court. the U.S. Department of Justice criminals attempting to escape justice The role of the courts is to dispense justice fairly to everyone. She is a justice of the state supreme court. I saw no justice in the court's decision. We should strive to achieve justice for all people.
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Recent Examples on the Web Mueller also laid out 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice, which Democrats saw as a road map for impeachment. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Richard Grenell and Lee Smith among those stoking doubts that Mueller wrote opinion piece," 12 July 2020 The deputy, Jake Preston Dooley, 22, of Marshall, was charged with falsely summoning law enforcement and obstruction of justice, according to the sheriff’s office. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Suspect in 11-year-old’s killing pleads not guilty," 11 July 2020 Criticism of the company has intensified since nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd brought the issue of racial justice to the forefront. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook election advertising blackout? Company weighs political ads ban in final days before election," 11 July 2020 Attorney General William Barr has said part of the reason the Trump administration wants to resume executions is to deliver a sense of justice to the victims' families. Michael Balsamo, Fox News, "US appeals to proceed with 1st federal execution in 17 years," 11 July 2020 Walder, a graduate of the University of Southern California and Chapman University, is an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Texas Christian University. Dallas News, "Former spy for the CIA and FBI will give a virtual presentation for the Allen library," 10 July 2020 The reimagining comes as issues of racial justice have taken center stage in Hollywood and across the globe following the death of George Floyd in police custody. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "'The Wonder Years' is getting a reboot with a Black family," 9 July 2020 The disclosure of the Watergate tapes led to Nixon’s resignation, and the Jones case led to Clinton’s impeachment for perjury and obstruction of justice. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "A Conservative Court and Trump’s Own Appointees Declare Their Independence," 9 July 2020 Prosecutors would likely have trouble with any charges against the officers, given the claim of self-defense, said Aaron Westrick, a longtime law enforcement member and professor of criminal justice at Lake Superior State University. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Protesters challenge Detroit police SUV account. Experts weigh in," 8 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'justice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of justice

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for justice

Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia, from justus — see just entry 1

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Time Traveler for justice

Time Traveler

The first known use of justice was in the 12th century

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Statistics for justice

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Justice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for justice


How to pronounce justice (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of justice

: the process or result of using laws to fairly judge and punish crimes and criminals
US : a judge in a court of law
used as a title for a judge (such as a judge of the U.S. Supreme Court)


jus·​tice | \ ˈjəs-təs How to pronounce justice (audio) \

Kids Definition of justice

1 : fair treatment Everyone deserves justice.
3 : the process or result of using laws to fairly judge people accused of crimes
4 : the quality of being fair or just They were treated with justice.


jus·​tice | \ ˈjəs-təs How to pronounce justice (audio) \

Legal Definition of justice

1a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair it is not the province of the court to decide upon the justice or injustice…of these lawsScott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857)
b : the principle or ideal of just dealing also : conformity to the principle or ideal of just dealing
2a : the administration of law a fugitive from justice especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to law or equity system of justice
b : fair, just, or impartial legal process courts or tribunals…for the administration of international justice— G. R. Winters
3 : judge especially : a judge of an appellate court or court of last resort (as a supreme court) insults to particular justices and threats of civil disobedience were bandied freely — R. H. Bork

History and Etymology for justice

Old French, from Latin justitia, from justus just

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More from Merriam-Webster on justice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for justice

Spanish Central: Translation of justice

Nglish: Translation of justice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of justice for Arabic Speakers

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