American English

Definition of justify verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they justify
    he / she / it justifies
    past simple justified
    -ing form justifying
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  1. 1to show that someone or something is right or reasonable justify (somebody/something) doing something How can they justify paying such huge salaries? justify something Her success had justified the faith her teachers had put in her.
  2. 2justify something/yourself (to somebody) justify (somebody/something) doing something to give an explanation or excuse for something or for doing something synonym defend The Secretary of Education has been asked to justify the decision to Congress. You don't need to justify yourself to me.
  3. 3justify something (technology) to arrange lines of printed text so that one or both edges are straight
  4. Idioms
    the end justifies the means (saying)
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    bad or unfair methods of doing something are acceptable if the result of that action is good or positive
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: justify