jus·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌjə-stə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce justification (audio) \

Definition of justification

1a : the act or an instance of justifying something : vindication arguments offered in justification of their choice
b : an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an act or way of behaving could provide no justification for his decision
2 : the act, process, or state of being justified by God (see justify sense 2a)
3 : the process or result of justifying lines of text (see justify sense 3a) software that provides automatic justification of text

Synonyms for justification


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Examples of justification in a Sentence

He tried to present a justification for his behavior. There is no possible justification for what she did. His behavior is without justification.
Recent Examples on the Web TikTok is in the process of changing its legal justification for processing user data in Europe, where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) demands a valid reason for doing so. David Meyer, Fortune, 12 July 2022 Thomas roots his justification in the privileges-or-immunities clause, and in its backstory of slavery and abolition. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, 9 July 2022 This offering of a five-part explanation to a three-part question illustrates early on that the Court is pulling out all the stops in its justification to overrule Roe. Erin Spencer Sairam, Forbes, 24 June 2022 Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the CDC exceeded its statutory authority and never clearly explained its justification for the broad mask mandate, among other legal infirmities. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 19 Apr. 2022 Redmon goes on to say that Anonymous shifted its justification for firing the manager and producer. Brent Lang, Variety, 23 Mar. 2022 Previously, Yad Vashem criticized Putin for referencing Nazis in his justification of the invasion and spoke out against the Russian attack on the Babyn Yar memorial site. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 21 Mar. 2022 In their justification, Pfizer and BioNTech cited two recent studies from Israel, both published on preprint servers without peer review. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 As its justification, the agency cited Aduhelm's reduction of a protein, amyloid, that forms plaques in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. Arkansas Online, 1 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'justification.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of justification

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for justification

see justify

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Time Traveler for justification

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The first known use of justification was in the 14th century

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Statistics for justification

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Justification.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justification. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for justification


jus·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌjəs-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce justification (audio) \

Kids Definition of justification

1 : the act or an instance of proving to be just, right, or reasonable
2 : sufficient reason to show that an action is correct or acceptable


jus·​ti·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌjəs-tə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce justification (audio) \

Legal Definition of justification

1 : the act or an instance of justifying
2 : something that justifies specifically : a legally sufficient reason or cause (as self-defense) for an act that would otherwise be criminal or tortious
3 : the affirmative defense of having a legally sufficient justification — compare excuse


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