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 title Justice 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


equity, fair shake, right


inequity, injustice, raw deal, wrong

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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

In the history of flagrant miscarriage of justice, No case is as lurid and stark. John Lithgow, The New Yorker, "Acosta Agonistes," 11 July 2019 Eaton DC is hardly the only lifestyle brand that’s grafted social justice into its marketing campaigns. Elyse Inamine, Bon Appétit, "What It's Like to Stay at a $300-a-Night Crystal-Filled Social Justice Hotel," 10 July 2019 But the perpetrator in that case was caught and jailed, which suggests either a terrible miscarriage of justice has occurred or a creepy copycat is at work. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'I See You': Film Review | Edinburgh 2019," 8 July 2019 The special counsel did detail instances of possible obstruction of justice by Trump, a section of the report that some Democrats jumped on to suggest launching the impeachment proceedings against the president. Fox News, "Russian oligarch says he spent $20M after McCabe asked him to help free retired FBI agent from Iran," 3 July 2019 Amazon has a documentary series coming up about rapper Meek Mill’s struggle to escape the criminal justice system and the movement that emerged because of and in support of him. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "New trailers: Hobbs & Shaw, Charlie’s Angels, and more," 29 June 2019 Advocates and survivors are the first to say that settlements are more about a sense of justice than about money; no sum could ever compensate for the damage done. Mary Pilon, Fortune, "'How Much Is a Little Girl Worth?': The Painful Financial Fallout of the Larry Nassar Case," 27 June 2019 Fredericka Wagner, one of two women charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the Rhoden family murders, is arraigned in Pike County Court on November 15, 2018. Jeanne Houck, Cincinnati.com, "Expert on Fredericka Wagner: 'Sounds like she is not out of jeopardy'," 26 June 2019 Sean Barrette, of Metairie, was arrested and booked with two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and two counts of obstruction of justice, accused in a two-parish shooting spree that began June 5. Michelle Hunter, nola.com, "Family of Metairie man accused in random killing spree releases statement," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for justice

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for justice

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

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More Definitions for justice



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

Comments on justice

What made you want to look up justice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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