jus·tice | \ˈjə-stəs \

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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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

He's also been praised by many for passionately vocalizing his views on issues of social justice, toxic masculinity, and mental health. refinery29.com, "Jonathan Van Ness Just Got Nommed For Two Emmys & He Cannot Believe It," 12 July 2018 Brett Kavanaugh needs 51 votes to become the Supreme Court's next associate justice, and his future rests in the hands of just a handful of senators. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "These are the senators to watch during Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process," 11 July 2018 Similar concerns have been raised about how the court will handle LGBTQ+ issues, voting-rights issues, and other social justice issues, like affirmative action, with a new conservative on the bench. Mackenzie Long, Teen Vogue, "Brett Kavanaugh Announced as President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 Steve West is a social justice advocate and entrepreneur living in Delray Beach. Steve West, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A rally for MAMA | Opinion," 9 July 2018 Disparities in income, education and social justice persist. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 Stigmatizing black protest in this way deflects attention from the pressing civil rights and social justice issues at hand. Crystal Marie Fleming, Vox, "Maxine Waters and the trope of the “angry black woman”," 29 June 2018 In the private sector, the threat of profit loss can be helpful to a kind of social justice. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "In firing Chris Bosio, Detroit Tigers prove that words still matter," 28 June 2018 The majority opinion from the justices, though, felt like an attack on union groups, said Marty Dwyer, business manager for Laborers' International Union of North America Local 582 in Elgin. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "'We pretty much knew it was coming': Elgin-area union officials disappointed in Supreme Court's Janus decision," 28 June 2018

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

Old French, from Latin justitia, from justus just

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Statistics for justice

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

: a judge in a court of law

Justice —used as a title for a judge (such as a judge of the U.S. Supreme Court)


jus·tice | \ˈjəs-təs \

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 \

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

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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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