Definitions for: Justify


[v] adjust the spaces between words; in printing; "justify the margins"
[v] defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success"
[v] show to be right by providing justification or prove; "vindicate a claim"
[v] show to be reasonable
[v] let off the hook; "I absolve you from this responsibility"



Webster (1913) Definition: Jus"ti*fy, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Justified; p. pr. &
vb. n. Justifying.] [F. justifier, L. justificare; justus
just + -ficare (in comp.) to make. See Just, a., and
-fy.]
1. To prove or show to be just; to vindicate; to maintain or
defend as conformable to law, right, justice, propriety,
or duty.

That to the height of this great argument I may
assert eternal providence, And justify the ways of
God to men. --Milton.

Unless the oppression is so extreme as to justify
revolution, it would not justify the evil of
breaking up a government. --E. Everett.

2. To pronounce free from guilt or blame; to declare or prove
to have done that which is just, right, proper, etc.; to
absolve; to exonerate; to clear.

I can not justify whom the law condemns. --Shak.

3. (Theol.) To treat as if righteous and just; to pardon; to
exculpate; to absolve.

By him all that believe are justified from all
things, from which ye could not be justified by the
law of Moses. --Acts xiii.
39.

4. To prove; to ratify; to confirm. [Obs.] --Shak.

5. (Print.) To make even or true, as lines of type, by proper
spacing; to adjust, as type. See Justification, 4.

Syn: To defend; maintain; vindicate; excuse; exculpate;
absolve; exonerate.


Jus"ti*fy, v. i.
1. (Print.) To form an even surface or true line with
something else; to fit exactly.



2. (Law) To take oath to the ownership of property sufficient
to qualify one's self as bail or surety.


Jus"ti*fy, v. t. (Law)
(a) To show (a person) to have had a sufficient legal reason
for an act that has been made the subject of a change or
accusation.
(b) To qualify (one's self) as a surely by taking oath to the
ownership of sufficient property.

The production of bail in court, who there justify
themselves against the exception of the plaintiff.
--Bouvier's
Law Dict.

Synonyms: absolve, apologise, apologize, excuse, free, rationalise, rationalize, vindicate, warrant

Antonyms: blame, fault

See Also: adjust, color, colour, confirm, defend, exempt, explain, extenuate, fend for, forgive, gloss, legitimate, let off, maintain, mitigate, palliate, plead, reassert, relieve, set, support, uphold, wash one's hands

Related Words for Scrabble or Words With Friends:





Famous Quotes Containing Justify:


Gentlemen, I fervently trust that before long the principle of arbitration may win such confidence as to justify its extension to a wider field of international differences.

-- Henry Campbell-Bannerman ( -)

I think people could justify labeling me if they saw a pattern in what I do, but right now that's impossible.

-- Skeet Ulrich (American Actor)

The British were white, English, and Protestant, just as we were. They had to have some other basis on which to justify independence, and happily they were able to formulate the inalienable truths set forth in the Declaration.

-- Samuel P. Huntington ( Sociologist)

Christians take Scriptures out of context to try to justify or to vindicate retreat and cowardice.

-- Randall Terry (American Celebrity)

How could you justify giving Holland twice the amount of money that you gave Belgium? Well, finally, I put it up to them. They said that they couldn't do it; it would destroy them. I said they had to do it. And I finally got support from Hoffman on it.

-- W. Averell Harriman (American Politician)

Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.

-- Louis D. Brandeis (American Judge)

Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from the failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so.

-- Byron White (American Judge)

I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A. I wouldn't say it's the cause of terrorism, but it has given impetus and excuses to potential terrorists to lash out at our country and justify their despicable acts.

-- Jimmy Carter (American President)

There's no way I can justify my salary level, but I'm learning to live with it.

-- Drew Carey (American Actor)

You can no more bridle passions with logic than you can justify them in the law courts. Passions are facts and not dogmas.

-- Alexander Herzen (Russian Journalist)

And malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.

-- A. E. Housman (English Poet)

You must have the music to justify an instrument's extensive use.

-- Steve Lacy (American Musician)

Whenever we approve, we can find a hundred good reasons to justify our approbation. Whenever we dislike, we can find a thousand to justify our dislike.

-- Samuel Richardson (English Novelist)

A pun does not commonly justify a blow in return. But if a blow were given for such cause, and death ensued, the jury would be judges both of the facts and of the pun, and might, if the latter were of an aggravated character, return a verdict of justifiable homicide.

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes (American Writer)

It is not impossible to think that the minds of philosophers sometimes act like those of other mortals, and that, having once been determined by diverse circumstances to adopt certain views, they then look for and naturally find reasons to justify these views.

-- Morris Raphael Cohen (Russian Philosopher)

It got to the point in the late 70s and early 80s that I was spending so much money buying golden age comics that I could only justify it if I got work in the media.

-- Bill Mumy (American Actor)

Research on child abuse suggests that religious beliefs can foster, encourage, and justify the abuse of children. When contempt for sex underlies teachings, this creates a breeding ground for abuse.

-- Mary Garden ( -)

Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man.

-- A. E. Housman (English Poet)

Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life.

-- Marc Chagall (French Artist)

By reading Huckleberry Finn I felt I was able to justify my act of going into the mountain forest at night and sleeping among the trees with a sense of security which I could never find indoors.

-- Kenzaburo Oe (Japanese Writer)

Love is the self-delusion we manufacture to justify the trouble we take to have sex.

-- Daniel S. Greenberg ( -)

Dictators must have enemies. They must have internal enemies to justify their secret police and external enemies to justify their military forces.

-- Richard Perle (American Public Servant)

It will never do to plead sin as an excuse for sin, or to attempt to justify sinful acts by pleading that we have an evil heart. This instead of being a valid apology, is the very ground of our condemnation.

-- Archibald Alexander (American Clergyman)

Man has an innate capacity for violence, but can only justify it in the name of justice.

-- Ralph Steadman (British Cartoonist)

I think you have to remember that Americans saw their purpose as so innately good that they could excuse the pain they would inflict on others to carry out those purposes. Because the purposes were so good, they would justify this pain we were inflicting on other people.

-- Neil Sheehan (American Journalist)

The individual who has to justify his existence by his own efforts is in eternal bondage to himself.

-- Eric Hoffer (American Writer)

I fail to understand how you can justify a poll tax on the entire population, yet exclude a significant proportion of that population from programmes that this tax is paying for.

-- Jonathan Dimbleby (British Writer)

History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.

-- Ted Koppel (American Journalist)

Disapproval of homosexuality cannot justify invading the houses, hearts and minds of citizens who choose to live their lives differently.

-- Harry A. Blackmun (American Judge)

Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought.

-- Milan Kundera (Czechoslovakian Writer)

One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly.

-- Maureen Dowd (American Journalist)

The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.

-- Leon Trotsky (Russian Revolutionary)

I came from a family who believed in, in quotes, the Rights of Man, who believed that in order to justify the sort of luxurious life that the majority of us have, related to the whole world, that you had to do something.

-- Richard Attenborough (English Actor)

It was an interesting question as to whether the BBC had a future in the digital world, and what form of market failure could justify the licence fee system.

-- Gavyn Davies (British Businessman)

I'm 20 years old. I like to party as much as anyone my age. Going clubbing is my way of relaxing or releasing a lot of stress. I don't feel that I should have to justify that part of my life. I don't know that I'm necessarily an addict.

-- Lindsay Lohan (American Actress)


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