justice

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Especially when there is such a strong sense that justice has not been done. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "With Kavanaugh Confirmed, It’s Time to Burn It Down," 6 Oct. 2018 The irony of that—considering Ford is not up for the job of Supreme Court justice, but is still apologizing in front of America—is stunning. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Christine Blasey Ford's Attempts to Make Everyone Comfortable Is a Burden Women Know Well," 28 Sep. 2018 The move by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) to lower the retirement age of Supreme Court justices, potentially forcing out more than a third of the court, has drawn thousands of protesters in the capital. Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor, "By staying on the job, Poland's top judge fights the right-wing government," 13 July 2018 When the case reached the high court, the justices narrowly ruled that greenhouse gases were indeed pollutants. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action," 12 July 2018 To drive home the point, Josh said the Lafairs would be sending their game to Supreme Court justices, state legislators and other politicians. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Fed up with wild districts, Texas siblings create gerrymandering board game," 10 July 2018 The liberal justice who stands in clearest opposition to this pragmatic approach is Sonia Sotomayor. Jeffrey Rosen, WSJ, "What We Learn from Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings," 13 July 2018 The justice with the highest reported assets was Stephen Breyer, who listed between $6.4 million and $16.6 million. Amy Brittain, courant.com, "Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh piled up credit card debt by purchasing Nationals tickets, White House says," 12 July 2018 So perhaps a litmus test for the next justice should simply be: Make him or her a middle child. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about justice

Statistics for justice

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for justice

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for justice

justice

noun

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)

justice

noun
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.

justice

noun
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

History and Etymology for justice

Old French, from Latin justitia, from justus just

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!