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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web This concern is plenty justified, as the consequences of believing false information are arguably shaping the future of nations and greatly affecting our individual and collective health. David Rand, Scientific American, 15 July 2022 Upon completion of that investigation, the McHenry County state’s attorney’s office reviewed the evidence and determined that the shooting was a justified use of deadly force. Robert Mccoppin, Chicago Tribune, 8 June 2022 This faith is well justified, however, by skillful traffic design and food safety regulation. Star Tribune, 15 July 2021 The authors examine one shooting that initially seemed justified, but compared with similar incidents involving white suspects that didn’t end in gunfire, suddenly appears quite racial. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Feb. 2023 The variable scope was regarded with extreme and justified suspicion. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, 30 Jan. 2023 The outrage of Memphis and all supporters of Black lives is a justified one. ... Nour Rahal, Detroit Free Press, 28 Jan. 2023 Climate made barely a ripple in the recent Israeli election, and in Palestinian politics, it has been sidelined by the government’s justified preoccupation with, well, Israeli occupation. Time, 11 Jan. 2023 The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 provoked an enormous amount of justified anger, and led to protests against police violence across the United States. Francis Fukuyama, Harper’s Magazine , 27 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'justified.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 27 Mar. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on justified

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

A Good Old-Fashioned Quiz

Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?