Definition of justify verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    justify

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they justify
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪ//
     
    he / she / it justifies
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪz//
     
    past simple justified
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪd//
     
    past participle justified
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪd//
     
    -ing form justifying
    BrE BrE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈdʒʌstɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to show that somebody/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. 2  justify something/yourself (to somebody) | justify (somebody/something) doing something to give an explanation or excuse for something or for doing something synonym defend The Prime Minister has been asked to justify the decision to Parliament. You don't need to justify yourself to me.
  3. 3justify something (specialist) to arrange lines of printed text so that one or both edges are straight
  4. Word Origin Middle English (in the senses ‘administer justice to’ and ‘inflict a judicial penalty on’): from Old French justifier, from Christian Latin justificare ‘do justice to’, from Latin justus, from jus ‘law, right’.Extra examples Can you really justify the destruction of such a fine old building? He found it very difficult to justify his decision. How will you justify this pay cut to your employees? In 1865 a letter arrived that appeared to justify her faith. The decision is justified on the grounds that there is no realistic alternative. The events that followed served to justify our earlier decision. The extra effort involved would go a long way in helping to justify their high price tags. The meagre result hardly justified the risks they took to get it. The university could not easily justify spending the money on this. the many issues that make it easy to justify the purchase Can you justify that accusation? It would be difficult for an employer to justify dismissing someone on those grounds. The senator made a half-hearted attempt to justify the claim. You don’t need to justify yourself to me.Idioms
    the end justifies the means
     
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    (saying) bad or unfair methods of doing something are acceptable if the result of that action is good or positive
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: justify