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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for justification

Synonyms

alibi, apology, defense, excuse, plea, reason

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

On Tuesday, however, her tone was significantly more conciliatory — offering no justification for the bill, but still declining to fully withdraw it. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, "Hong Kong leader offers ‘sincere apology’ after second massive march against extradition bill to China," 18 June 2019 This is a familiar justification, the same one used by the Obama administration in its cases against American journalists. New York Times, "Australia May Well Be the World’s Most Secretive Democracy," 5 June 2019 In both cases, national security was cited as justification. The Economist, "An attack on free speech in Nigeria," 14 June 2019 Adam Eidinger, a prominent local activist, predicted that attempts to disrupt the speech will be easily suppressed, with security concerns as a justification. CBS News, "White House still silent about Trump's plans for July 4th celebrations," 12 June 2019 Like with Russia, claims about better defending Iran from foreign cyber threats have also been cited here as justification. Justin Sherman, WIRED, "Russia and Iran Plan to Fundamentally Isolate the Internet," 6 June 2019 The court in a split vote said the regulations had forced many clinics to close without medical justification. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "Lawsuits Challenge Rules Limiting Who Can Perform Abortions," 15 Jan. 2019 Critics fear police will use the systems to track people without legal justification. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Tech community wrestles over working with government," 13 July 2018 Two others were accused of stopping vehicles without justification, searching them and detaining people, and, in some instances, improperly taking money and other items from vehicles, the authorities said. New York Times, "A City Founded by Alexander Hamilton Sets the Stage for Its Next Act," 5 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of justification

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for justification

see justify

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about justification

Statistics for justification

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for justification

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on justification

What made you want to look up justification? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!