tr.v. jus·ti·fied, jus·ti·fy·ing, jus·ti·fies
1. To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid: justified each budgetary expense as necessary; anger that is justified by the circumstances.
2. To free (a human) of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin. Used of God.
a. To demonstrate sufficient legal reason for (an action taken).
b. To prove to be qualified as a bondsman.
4. To format (a paragraph, for example) so that the lines of text begin and end evenly at a straight margin.
[Middle English justifien, from Old French justifier, from Late Latin iūstificāre, from Latin, to act justly toward : iūstus, just; see JUST1 + -ficāre, -fy.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus