Definition of justify
1a : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable trying to justify his selfish behavior I shouldn't have to justify myself to them. justify the ways of God to man — John Miltonb (1) : to show to have had a sufficient legal reason (2) : to qualify (oneself) as a surety (see surety 3) by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property
2a : to judge, regard, or treat as righteous and worthy of salvation God justifies with his forgiveness and grace the man who comes to him — Will Herbergb archaic : to administer justice toc archaic : absolve
3a : to space (lines of text) so that the lines come out even at the marginb : to make even by spacing lines of text justified margins
1a : to show a sufficient lawful reason for an act doneb : to qualify as bail or surety the surety justified on the bail bond
2 : to justify lines of text
justifierplay \ˈjə-stə-ˌfī(-ə)r\ noun
Examples of justify in a Sentence
He tried to justify his behavior by saying that he was being pressured unfairly by his boss.
The fact that we are at war does not justify treating innocent people as criminals.
Recent Examples of justify from the Web
In November and December, Tuks Tuks transported people for the city's inaugural Christkindlmarket and generated enough rides beyond that to justify adding a third vehicle in January and a fourth about two weeks ago.
However, the minimum range needed to qualify as an ICBM is typically held to be 5,500km, so North Korea may be justified in describing this missile as one.
Joseph would have a market but might not clear enough salary off the books to justify losing such helpful contributor.
The prosecution took a conservative approach on the first day, and simply stated Tensing's actions were not justified, and the evidence would show the shooting was a murder.
But they are not justified in claiming the free speech high ground.
Corcoran and House Republicans have justified pushing the bill through at the last minute by repeatedly — and falsely — saying all of its components were already vetted by the Legislature.
Policy makers could rein in the speculation by speeding up the pace of interest-rate increases, but their inflation mandate makes higher borrowing costs harder to justify given that increases remain subdued.
Ms. Yellen emphasized that the job market looked quite healthy, justifying the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates for the second time this year and fourth time in 18 months.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'justify'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of justify
JUSTIFY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of justify for English Language Learners
: to provide or be a good reason for (something) : to prove or show (something) to be just, right, or reasonable
: to provide a good reason for the actions of (someone)
: to position (text) so that the edges form a straight line
JUSTIFY Defined for Kids
Definition of justify for Students
: to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable How can you justify your actions?
Legal Definition of justify
1 : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable does not justify a denial of bail
2 : to show to have had a legally sufficient reason or cause a defendant may not set up his own standard of conduct to justify or excuse himself — State v. Doss, 568 P.2d 1054 (1977)
1 : to show a legally sufficient reason for an act
2 : to swear an oath as to the ownership of sufficient property they shall justify in an amount no less than $200 — Oregon Revised Statutes; also : to qualify as a surety by swearing such an oath the defendants sought to justify as bail — State v. Blaisdell, 253 A.2d 341 (1969)
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