jus·​ti·​fied ˈjə-stə-ˌfīd How to pronounce justified (audio)
: having or shown to have a just, right, or reasonable basis
a justified punishment
a justified reputation for toughness
Such work calls for a combination of training and talent that few can lay justified claim to …Bernard Knox
: aligned evenly at the margin
a justified line of text
In justified composition, where the type must be flush with both the left and right margins, the machine will automatically expand or condense the word space or hyphenate end-of-line words to fill up the line measure.Ray Blair and Thomas M. Destree
: made even by spacing lines of text
a document with justified margins

Examples of justified in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web If the shooting was not justified, charges can be substantial. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 11 Jan. 2024 Driving transparency requires interpretability, explainability, justified opacity and auditability. Rajan Kohli, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 There was justified cynicism surrounding Pakistan’s general election held Thursday. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2024 The huge, dissonant piano cluster at the end seems to signify Ellington’s justified anger about Gershwin’s continued eclipse of him as the great American composer, long after Gershwin was dead. Ethan Iverson, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 The same should apply to Israel’s justified war in Gaza. Mike Pence, National Review, 12 Jan. 2024 The difference between justified public beliefs and mistaken ones is usually disinformation, whether spread on social media or through other channels by political actors. Stephan Lewandowsky, Scientific American, 30 Jan. 2024 The tally does not include people killed in homicides deemed to be noncriminal, such as justified police shootings or cases of self-defense. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2024 The ongoing Beeper saga has also sparked discourse about interoperability between messaging apps and whether Apple’s tight control over its software systems is justified or anticompetitive. Lauren Goode, WIRED, 19 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'justified.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of justified was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near justified

Cite this Entry

“Justified.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/justified. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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