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 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 Lagoa is a former Florida Supreme Court justice who was appointed to the state’s high court by Gov. Ron DeSantis in January 2019 before being appointed by President Donald Trump to the federal 11th Circuit Court in December. John Haughey, Washington Examiner, "Federal ruling strikes down local Florida conversion therapy bans, citing First Amendment protection," 23 Nov. 2020 With the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd death serving as an inflection point, companies are more aware of racial justice topics, Carter said. Alexa Vickaryous, Dallas News, "Black-founded Kanarys, ShearShare break out of the pack during pandemic with boost from Google," 23 Nov. 2020 Nagdy was a regular at Jefferson Square Park, where protesters have gathered to demand justice for Breonna Taylor since late May. Bailey Loosemore, USA TODAY, "'He's irreplaceable': 21-year-old leader of Breonna Taylor protests killed in shooting, family says," 23 Nov. 2020 His death is a devastating loss for protesters who've spent the last six months demanding justice for Taylor, an unarmed Black woman who was fatally shot at her apartment during a botched narcotics investigation in March. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "'He's irreplaceable': Breonna Taylor protest leader, 21, killed in shooting," 23 Nov. 2020 Black Lives Matter defines itself as a movement seeking justice and became nationally prominent after street demonstrations in 2014 after the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. Lisa J. Huriash, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Willy-nilly’ spending: Critics slam plan to use taxpayer money to back Black Lives Matter and charities," 21 Nov. 2020 And Black people are far more likely to be pulled over, searched and or killed by police, studies of criminal justice data have repeatedly shown. Aaron Morrison, Star Tribune, "Criminal justice reformers cheer multiple election victories," 21 Nov. 2020 Prosecutors are the most powerful decision-makers in criminal justice—often seen as too powerful. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "Kamala Harris and the Noble Path of the Prosecutor," 20 Nov. 2020 The third-ranking official in the Justice Department, the solicitor general is sometimes described as the tenth justice of the Supreme Court because of their prominent role arguing the government’s case in the chamber. Emily Langer, Washington Post, "Drew S. Days III, first African American to lead civil rights division at Justice Department, dies at 79," 20 Nov. 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

26 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Justice.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justice. Accessed 5 Dec. 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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