Close in meaning to an explanation, a justification is specifically for defending or explaining an event. The idea that he was just trying to scare his little sister was a pretty weak justification for the elaborate gag.

Like its close cousin "justice," justification is derived from the Latin justificare, which means "to make right." When you offer a justification, you're trying to make something right—or, perhaps, even just. The notion that animals don't have emotions is one of the key justifications for allowing them to suffer. For many people, though, the fact that they suffer is justification enough to prevent it.

Definitions of justification

n the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning

“"the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller”
Type of:
exoneration, vindication
the act of vindicating or defending against criticism or censure etc.

n something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary

“he considered misrule a justification for revolution”
Type of:
circumstance, condition, consideration
information that should be kept in mind when making a decision

n a statement in explanation of some action or belief

show 5 types...
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cause, grounds, reason
a justification for something existing or happening
defence, defense, vindication
the justification for some act or belief
apologia, apology
a formal written defense of something you believe in strongly
(law) a defense by an accused person purporting to show that he or she could not have committed the crime in question
alibi, exculpation, excuse, self-justification
a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise etc.
Type of:
account, explanation
a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.

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