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What is the difference between explain and justify?

explain | justify |

As verbs the difference between explain and justify

is that explain is to make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to illustrate the meaning of while justify is to provide an acceptable explanation for.





(en verb)
  • To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to illustrate the meaning of.
  • *
  • The boy became volubly friendly and bubbling over with unexpected humour and high spirits. He tried to persuade Cicely to stay away from the ball-room for a fourth dance. Nobody would miss them, he explained .
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2012-03
  • , author=, volume=100, issue=2, page=106 , magazine=(American Scientist) , title= Pixels or Perish , passage=Drawings and pictures are more than mere ornaments in scientific discourse. Blackboard sketches, geological maps, diagrams of molecular structure, astronomical photographs, MRI images, the many varieties of statistical charts and graphs: These pictorial devices are indispensable tools for presenting evidence, for explaining a theory, for telling a story.}}
  • To give a valid excuse for some past behavior.
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=David Simpson
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=36, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Fantasy of navigation , passage=It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next; […].}}
  • (obsolete) To make flat, smooth out.
  • (obsolete) To unfold or make visible.
  • * (John Evelyn) (1620-1706)
  • The horse-chestnut isready to explain its leaf.


    * (give a sufficiently detailed report) expound, elaborate



    Alternative forms

    * justifie (obsolete)


  • To provide an acceptable explanation for.
  • How can you justify spending so much money on clothes?
    Paying too much for car insurance is not justified .
  • To be a good, acceptable reason for; warrant.
  • Nothing can justify your rude behaviour last night.
  • * E. Everett
  • Unless the oppression is so extreme as to justify' revolution, it would not ' justify the evil of breaking up a government.
  • To arrange (text) on a page or a computer screen such that the left and right ends of all lines within paragraphs are aligned.
  • The text will look better justified .
  • To absolve, and declare to be free of blame or sin
  • * Shakespeare
  • I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
  • * Bible, Acts xiii. 39
  • By him all that believe are justified' from all things, from which ye could not be ' justified by the law of Moses.
  • To prove; to ratify; to confirm.
  • (Shakespeare)