Definition of justification noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌdʒʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃn//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌdʒʌstɪfɪˈkeɪʃn//
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  • [uncountable, countable] justification (for something/doing something) a good reason why something exists or is done I can see no possible justification for any further tax increases. He was getting angry—and with some justification. Synonymsreasonexplanation grounds basis excuse motive justification pretextThese are all words for a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done.reason a cause or an explanation for something that has happened or that somebody has done; a fact that makes it right or fair to do something:He said no but he didn’t give a reason.explanation a statement, fact or situation that tells you why something has happened; a reason given for something:The most likely explanation is that his plane was delayed. She left the room abruptly without explanation.grounds (rather formal) a good or true reason for saying, doing or believing something:You have no grounds for complaint.basis (rather formal) the reason why people take a particular action:On what basis will this decision be made?excuse a reason, either true or invented, that you give to explain or defend your behaviour; a good reason that you give for doing something that you want to do for other reasons:Late again! What’s your excuse this time? It gave me an excuse to take the car.motive a reason that explains somebody’s behaviour:There seemed to be no motive for the murder.justification (rather formal) a good reason why something exists or is done:I can see no possible justification for any further tax increases.grounds or justification?Justification is used to talk about finding or understanding reasons for actions, or trying to explain why it is a good idea to do something. It is often used with words like little, no, some, every, without, and not any. Grounds is used more for talking about reasons that already exist, or that have already been decided, for example by law: moral/​economic grounds.pretext (rather formal) a false reason that you give for doing something, usually something bad, in order to hide the real reason:He left the party early on the pretext of having to work.Patterns (a/​an) reason/​explanation/​grounds/​basis/​excuse/​motive/​justification/​pretext for something the reason/​motive behind something on the grounds/​basis/​pretext of/​that… (a) good/​valid reason/​explanation/​grounds/​excuse/​motive/​justification
  • Extra examples I can see some justification for her remarks. I could find no real justification for the proposed reorganization. She had not given him the slightest justification for thinking she was interested in him. She never presents an ideological justification of her work. She was arrested entirely without justification. She’s unable to provide any justification for her actions. Such a step requires substantial justification to be accepted by the public. There was no compelling justification for the invasion. You have every justification for feeling angry. the argument which he put forward in justification He was getting angry—and with some justification. The government is struggling to find a justification for this war.Idioms
    in justification (of somebody/something)
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    as an explanation of why something exists or why somebody has done something All I can say in justification of her actions is that she was under a lot of pressure at work.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: justification