justify

To justify is to make excuses for one's actions, like the dieter who has to justify the few tiny pieces of chocolate she's sneaked in between salads.

Anyone who has ever made excuses for his or her actions knows the meaning of justify, like the bank robber who justifies his latest heist by claiming he needs the bank's money to support his charitable foundation. He might think he's got a good reason for holding up the bank, but he's going to have a hard time convincing the bank's owner of his reason, or justification. To justify a line of text is to space it so that it lines up with the margin.

Primary Meanings of justify

1.
v
show to be right by providing justification or proof
2.
v
adjust the spaces between words
Full Definitions of justify
1

v show to be right by providing justification or proof

Synonyms:
vindicate
Types:
excuse, explain
serve as a reason or cause or justification of
legitimate
show or affirm to be just and legitimate
alibi
exonerate by means of an alibi
Type of:
maintain, uphold
support against an opponent

v show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for

“The end justifies the means”
Synonyms:
warrant
Type of:
confirm, reassert
strengthen or make more firm

v defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning

Synonyms:
apologise, apologize, excuse, rationalise, rationalize
Types:
color, colour, gloss
give a deceptive explanation or excuse for
plead
offer as an excuse or plea
extenuate, mitigate, palliate
lessen or to try to lessen the seriousness or extent of
Type of:
defend, fend for, support
argue or speak in defense of

v let off the hook

Synonyms:
absolve, free
Antonyms:
blame, fault
put or pin the blame on
Types:
excuse, exempt, let off, relieve
grant exemption or release to
wash one's hands
to absolve oneself of responsibility or future blame
frank
exempt by means of an official pass or letter, as from customs or other checks
Type of:
forgive
stop blaming or grant forgiveness
2

v adjust the spaces between words

justify the margins”
Type of:
adjust, correct, set
alter or regulate so as to achieve accuracy or conform to a standard

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