English dictionary

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English verb: justify

1. justify (communication) show to be reasonable or provide adequate ground for

SamplesThe emergency does not warrant all of us buying guns.
The end justifies the means.


Pattern of useSomething ----s something

Broader (hypernym)confirm, reassert

2. justify (communication) show to be right by providing justification or proof

SamplesVindicate a claim.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)maintain, uphold

Narrower (hyponym)excuse, explain, legitimate

3. justify (communication) defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning

SamplesRationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior.
He rationalized his lack of success.

Synonymsapologise, apologize, excuse, rationalise, rationalize

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)defend, fend for, support

Narrower (hyponym)color, colour, extenuate, gloss, mitigate, palliate, plead

4. justify (communication) let off the hook

SamplesI absolve you from this responsibility.

Synonymsabsolve, free

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody of something

Broader (hypernym)forgive

Narrower (hyponym)excuse, exempt, let off, relieve, wash one's hands

Antonymsblame, fault

5. justify (change) adjust the spaces between words

SamplesJustify the margins.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)adjust, correct, set

Domain categoryprinting

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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