Justice Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know what justice means? Don’t worry — we’ll tell you! Read on as we explore the meaning of justice, it origin story, and more.

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When pondering the term justice, what comes to mind? 

Do you conjure up images of Lady Justice — also commonly known as Justinia — or Themis, the Greek Goddess of Justice? Or perhaps you think about ethics, fairness, and equality. Maybe you have not the slightest clue as to what the term justice means. Worry not, though, because we’re here to help.

In this post, we’re exploring the term justice to clear up any confusion you may have about its definition. By the end of this article, you should have a clear understanding of the meaning behind the word justice and feel comfortable using it in a sentence. Are you ready? 

Let’s get started! 

What Does Justice Mean?

To truly understand what the term justice means, it can be helpful to review more than one definition. Below, you’ll discover the definitions provided by three well-known and trusted sources:

After reviewing the definitions listed above, we can conclude that justice is the quality of being just, fair, and reasonable. 

What Is the Origin of Justice?

Believe it or not, the English word justice is over 860 years old. Yup, it’s true; derived from justitia — an Old French word that descended from Latin to mean “righteousness” and “equity,” from iustus “just” and ius “right” — justice meant uprightness, equity, vindication of right, court of justice, and judge. 

By late Old English, justice was commonly used to describe the judicial administration of law or equity. It also described those administering the law in addition to those working in the judicial assembly and court of justice — especially a judge presiding over or belonging to one of the superior courts.    

During the 16th century, the word justice became personified when it was the name given to a beautiful goddess portrayed in paintings holding balanced scales and a sword. Justice appeared blindfolded to symbolize the impartiality of true justice. 

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Justice?

To better your understanding of a term, it can be helpful to discover its synonyms and antonyms. Synonyms are words that have the same or nearly the same meaning as another word. In contrast, anonyms are words that have the opposite meaning of another word. 

Defined as the quality of being just, synonyms of justice include:

  • Fairness
  • Equity
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Decency
  • Impartiality
  • Uprightness
  • Justness
  • Right
  • Reasonableness
  • Rightfulness
  • Natural virtue
  • Even-handedness
  • Egalitarianism
  • Neutrality
  • Non-partisanship

Antonyms of justice include:

  • Wrong 
  • Injustice
  • Dishonesty
  • Favoritism
  • Unfairness
  • Partiality
  • Unreasonableness
  • Unlawfulness
  • Inequity

The Word “Justice” in Example Sentences

Now that you understand what justice means, let’s take a look at a few examples of this word in a sentence:

Did you know that a new Supreme Court justice is getting picked next week?

Do you view capital punishment as a type of justice or means of revenge?

Mr. Justice Smith currently presided over the appellate court.

She appointed a new chief justice and initiated prosecution of the old one.

Were you aware that early theories of justice were set out by the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato?

Perhaps justice would be better served if the shoplifter worked for the owner of the store he stole from.

If you ask me, justice is an important element of good government.

The victim’s family is crying for justice.

Did you know that John Rawls used a social contract theory to say that justice is a form of fairness?

Believe it or not, advocates of divine command theory argue that justice issues from God.

The killers will be brought to justice.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is basically just the law enforcement agency of the Justice Department.

John Locke was just one of many philosophers who believed justice derives from natural law.

Rooted in accountability and redress for victims, transitional justice recognizes their dignity as citizens and as human beings.

Social justice is concerned with equal rights for those of all social dimensions.

If you take advantage of his generosity, justice will be served!

Did you know that poetic justice is often used in literature?


So, what does justice mean, you ask?

Simply put, the term justice means to treat adequately, fairly, or with full appreciation. It is the ideal of fairness —especially with regard to the punishment of wrongdoing. In other words, justice is the judgment involved in the determination of rights and the assignment of rewards and punishments. 

Considered the first virtue of social institutions, justice is based on the best outcomes for the greatest number of people. That said, the term can also be used as a noun to refer to a public official (ex: judge) authorized to decide questions brought before a court of justice. 

We hope this guide has provided you with all of the information needed to understand the term justice. Check out our website to discover more interesting words, grammar tips, tools and more!


  1. JUSTICE | Meaning & Definition for UK English | Lexico.com
  2. justice | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute
  3. JUSTICE | Cambridge English Dictionary