do justice to

Idioms & Phrases

do justice to

  1. Treat fairly or adequately, with full appreciation, as in That review doesn't do the play justice. This expression was first recorded in John Dryden's preface to Troilus and Cressida (1679): "I cannot leave this subject before I do justice to that Divine Poet."

  2. do oneself justice. Execute in accordance with one's abilities, as in She finally got a position in which she could do herself justice. [Second half of 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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