1 (explicar) to account for; explain
tendrá que justificar su ausencia del trabajo she will have to account for o explain her absence from work; el gobierno no pudo justificar el aumento del gasto the government was unable to account for o explain the increase in expenditure; justificó las compras con facturas he accounted for his purchases with receipts
2 (excusar) [+decisión, comportamiento] to justify; excuse
nada justifica tal violencia nothing can justify o excuse such violence; siempre justifica a sus hijos ante sus amigas she always defends her sons to her friends; es un criminal y no pretendo justificarlo he's a criminal and I'm not trying to make excuses for him
pronominal verbjustificarse to justify o.s.; make excuses for o.s.
no intentes justificarte porque no tienes razón don't try and justify yourself o make excuses for yourself because you're in the wrong; se justificó diciendo que el tren llegó tarde he justified himself o made his excuses saying the train was late