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Supposedly vs. Supposably


[juhs-tuh-fahy-uh-buh l, juhs-tuh-fahy-] /ˈdʒʌs təˌfaɪ ə bəl, ˌdʒʌs təˈfaɪ-/
capable of being justified; that can be shown to be or can be defended as being just, right, or warranted; defensible:
justifiable homicide.
Origin of justifiable
1515-25; < Middle French; see justify, -able
Related forms
justifiability, justifiableness, noun
justifiably, adverb
unjustifiable, adjective
unjustifiableness, noun
unjustifiably, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for unjustifiable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The public opinion of the various powers considers the conduct of the Japanese as unjustifiable and unreasonable.

    Japan Various
  • This did really seem to me a ruthless and unjustifiable proceeding.

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • Demurrage is generally given against a captor for unjustifiable detention.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • And I cannot but think that the Dean has interfered in a most unjustifiable manner.

    Is He Popenjoy? Anthony Trollope
  • You coupled my name with the name of a lady in a most unjustifiable manner and I want your explanation here and now.

    The Ghost Girl H. De Vere Stacpoole
  • Thousands of peaceful natives were treated with unjustifiable ferocity.

    The Philippine Islands John Foreman
  • The Havana trade, notwithstanding the important advantages it affords to Spain, meets with the most unjustifiable interruptions.

  • Then I heard of some unjustifiable though, perhaps, natural things he said.

    Marion's Faith. Charles King
  • Secondly, I arraign it in the name of Freedom, as an unjustifiable departure from the original Antislavery policy of our fathers.

British Dictionary definitions for unjustifiable


not capable of being justified
Derived Forms
unjustifiably, adverb


capable of being justified; understandable
Derived Forms
justifiability, justifiableness, noun
justifiably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for unjustifiable

1640s, from un- (1) "not" + justifiable. Related: Unjustifiably.



1520s, from Old French justifiable, from justifiier (see justify). Earlier in same sense was justificable (mid-15c.). Related: Justifiably (mid-15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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