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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web An outside assessment by Crowe LLP outlined several major observations regarding insufficient record-keeping by both OPHS and Child Advocates, including insufficient justification for expenditures for services provided. Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star, "What to know about switch to Kids' Voice for child court-appointed advocacy services," 7 May 2021 Jonas is caught zooming in, fumbling over his justification for objectifying the Bond girl and bringing the date to an abrupt halt. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, "A biracial teen with autism, his ‘Black feminist video game’ and the power of play," 6 May 2021 That, plus confusion over the statistical measures of how well vaccines work, might be providing quiet (and mostly incorrect) justification for some people’s hesitancy. Adam Rogers, Wired, "The Statistical Secrets of Covid-19 Vaccines," 6 May 2021 Moreover, this administration has already overseen a $200 million arms deal with Egypt despite blatant human rights concerns, and launched airstrikes in Syria without briefing Congress on its legal justification for doing so. Matt Korda, Forbes, "Biden Could Win Back Progressives By Pausing A Controversial New Nuclear Weapon," 20 Apr. 2021 There is no justification for that imbalance and lack of awareness of their fundamental weakness. Star Tribune, "Basketball coaching change is next logical step for Gophers Athletic Director Mark Coyle," 6 Mar. 2021 The claim: Myanmar used Dominion Voting Systems in fraudulent election On Feb. 1, the Myanmar military took control of the country, citing unproven allegations of voter fraud as their justification. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Myanmar's November election had hand vote count; Dominion does no work there," 3 Feb. 2021 Small revelations fly like sparks from an anvil; Ms. Gyasi arrives at no clear answers, but the brilliance and tenacity of her inquest provide their own justification. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: Memento Mori," 24 Dec. 2020 In his justification for the bill, Gianaris noted that absentee voting spiked significantly for the June primary election as well. Steve Bittenbender, Washington Examiner, "New York lawmakers criticize rules requiring weeklong wait before counting of mail-in ballots," 11 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for justification

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Justification.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justification. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for justification



English Language Learners Definition of justification

: an acceptable reason for doing something : something that justifies an action


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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