A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1143

To Jústify. v.a. [justifier, French; justifico, low Latin.]

  1. To clear from imputed guilt; to absolve from an accusation.

    The law hath judg'd thee, Eleanor;
    I cannon justify, whom law condemns.
    Shakes. H. VI.

    They say, behold a man gluttonous, a friend of publicans and sinners; but wisdom is justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Job xxv. 4.

    There is an exquisite subtilty, and the same is unjust; and there is a wise man that justifieth in judgment. Ecclus. x. 25.

    You're neither justify'd nor yet accus'd. Dryden.

  2. To maintain; to defend; to vindicate.

    When we began in courteous manner to lay his unkindness unto him, he seeing himself confronted by so many, like a resolute orator, went not to denial, but to justify his cruel falshood. Sidney.

    What she did, whatever in itself,
    Her doing seem'd to justify the deed.
    Milt. Par. Lost.

    My unwilling flight the gods inforce,
    And that must justify our sad divorce.

    Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence,
    And justify their author's want of sense.

    Let others justify their missions as they can, we are sure we can justify that of our fathers by an uninterrupted succession. Atterbury's Sermons.

  3. To free from past sin by pardon.

    By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts xiii.

Sources: The Bible - Acts (20) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ecclesiasticus (27) · Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2 (49) · The Bible - Job (27) · Milton, John (449) · Sidney, Philip (140)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Justify." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 28, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/justify/.

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