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

Any bargaining between a sitting justice and the White House would immediately raise ethical questions about his or her participation in cases involving the president. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Did Anthony Kennedy make a deal with Trump?," 10 July 2018 The viciousness stems partly from a difference between trans rights and other social-justice movements. The Economist, "A culture war comes to Westminster," 5 July 2018 The court agreed with a lower court judge that Dotcom was eligible for extradition under New Zealand law, taking Dotcom a step closer to facing justice in the United States. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "NZ court rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US on copyright charges," 5 July 2018 But the unending conveyor belt of affirmative action plaintiffs means that the justices will never want for an opportunity to revisit their most recent take on the subject. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 Your sign is represented by the scales, symbolizing your appreciation for balance, harmony, and justice. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What July's Libra Horoscope Means for You," 29 June 2018 Another Gorsuch-type nominee could create the most conservative court since the justices blocked a number of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs in the 1930s. Laura Litvan, Bloomberg.com, "Senate Democrats Have Little Chance to Delay Trump’s Court Pick," 28 June 2018 Robert Mueller's legal team unveiled its latest allegations as part of its ongoing probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible obstruction of justice afterward. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Arizona servers used by Russian hackers to monitor Democrats, feds say," 13 July 2018 Obstruction of justice, whether the President or those around him sought to obstruct the investigation into Russian interference With Friday's move, Mueller has now brought charges in the first four categories. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "Indicting 12 Russian Hackers Could Be Mueller's Biggest Move Yet," 13 July 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

22 Sep 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).


occurring twice a year or every two years

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