- 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 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.
- 3justify something (specialist) to arrange lines of printed text so that one or both edges are straight Word Origin Middle English (in the senses ‘administer justice to’ and ‘inflict a judicial penalty on’): from Old French justifier, from Christian Latin justificare
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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//