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

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 In our conversations, a more nuanced taxonomy of justification emerged. Nicholas Zimmerman, Daily Intelligencer, "Why Washington Insiders Decide to Leak," 16 May 2018 Without anything else to go on, officials felt there wasn't enough of a legal justification to issue a subpoena to YouTube for the underlying information about that particular account-holder, the official said. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Florida school shooting suspect charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder," 15 Feb. 2018 The point is not to get defensive, not to blame other people, not to offer a million and six justifications for our actions. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Tiffany Haddish Bombed a Stand-Up Set, But It's Her Apology After That Matters," 2 Jan. 2019 And as Parson himself noted to me in an interview during rehearsals, the fact that something’s always been done in a certain way provides little justification in and of itself for staying the course. Mike Fischer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hard questions about race in APT's 'Blood Knot' compounded by casting decision," 18 June 2018 Still, this could provide a justification for the White House to intervene and save dying coal plants, assuming the Administration moves forward on this idea. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Energy Department Proposes Forcing Utilities to Buy Coal Power," 1 June 2018 Even if Trump wanted to use national security as a justification for the closures, the blockade could only be temporary, and would mostly affect commerce. Amanda Sakuma, Vox, "Trump threatens to shut down the border for the third time in three months," 29 Dec. 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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Last Updated

14 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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