justification

noun
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

Synonyms

alibi, apology, defense, excuse, plea, reason

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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

There is no justification for that kind of cruelty, and no greater good that can come of it. Nadia Murad, Glamour, "Nadia Murad Escaped Sexual Slavery at the Hands of ISIS. This Is Her Story.," 5 Oct. 2018 But should prosecutions go awry, China may find itself with a trump card—and justification for retaliation. Chuin-wei Yap, WSJ, "U.S. Weaponizes Its Criminal Courts in Fight Against China and Huawei," 17 Jan. 2019 Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia currently offer early voting without requiring an absentee excuse or justification. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "The surge in early voting, explained," 3 Nov. 2018 But given the president's actions and attitudes towards immigrants so far, Yale-Loehr said the president may ignore that kind of legal nuance and use Tuesday's ruling and justification to go all in on his enforcement wish list. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "What Supreme Court ruling on travel ban means for other countries," 26 June 2018 The narrative for the National Register of Historic Places application read: The Cult of the Lost Cause had its roots in the Southern search for justification and the need to find a substitute for victory in the Civil War. Mitch Landrieu, Smithsonian, "How I Learned About the “Cult of the Lost Cause”," 12 Mar. 2018 Chad Pecknold, a professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, said nonpracticing Catholics take each new revelation of abuse allegations as justification for not practicing their faith. WSJ, "Corrections & Amplifications," 20 Mar. 2019 Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information. Fox News, "Trump's full statement on revoking John Brennan's security clearance," 15 Aug. 2018 Apostolina is dryly amusing as a strangely noble huckster who plays fast and loose with the law, while Nagle chills as a pedophilic pedant skilled in the art of self-justification. F. Kathleen Foley, latimes.com, "In Atwater, a dark secret at the center of 'Forever Bound'," 25 May 2018

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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Statistics for justification

Last Updated

9 May 2019

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Time Traveler for justification

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

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More Definitions for justification

justification

noun

English Language Learners Definition of justification

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

justification

noun
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

justification

noun
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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Comments on justification

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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