JUST'ICE, n. L. justitia, from justus, just.
1. The virtue which consists in giving to every one what is his due; practical conformity to the laws and to principles of rectitude in the dealings of men with each other; honesty; integrity in commerce or mutual intercourse. Justice is distributive or commutative. Distributive justice belongs to magistrates or rulers, and consists in distributing to every man that right or equity which the laws and the principles of equity require; or in deciding controversies according to the laws and to principles of equity. Commutative justice consists in fair dealing in trade and mutual intercourse between man and man.
2. Impartiality; equal distribution of right in expressing opinions; fair representation of facts respecting merit or demerit. In criticisms, narrations, history or discourse, it is a duty to do justice to every man, whether friend or foe.
3. Equity; agreeableness to right; as, he proved the justice of his claim. This should, in strictness, be justness.
4. Vindictive retribution; merited punishment. Sooner or later, justice overtakes the criminal.
5. Right; application of equity. His arm will do him justice.
6. Low L. justiciarius. A person commissioned to hold courts, or to try and decide controversies and administer justice to individuals; as the Chief Justice of the king's bench, or of the common pleas, in England; the Chief Justice of the supreme court in the United States, &c. and justices of the peace.
JUST'ICE, v.t. To administer justice. Little used.