The sentence says:

... if a man suffers those very things he inflicted on others, justice is vindicated.

  • According to Lexico:
    • 1.1 show or prove to be right, reasonable, or justified
  • MW:
    • 1.b-2 to provide justification or defense for: justify

Is this a common phrase as saying justice is vindicated? At first glance, I thought of "justice is justified", which seems a little bit redundant. People don't say "justify the justice", right? So is that better to translate it as "justice is defended" (according to MW)?

  • I hope it does not need to be said that the quoted words, of Rhadamantus, sound like the sort of dishonest words a politician might use these days. Should an arsonist be set on fire, a thief be robbed, a rapist forcibly penetrated? Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 18:52
  • There will be a corresponding penalty with regard to justice nowadays. It doesn't have to be the same infliction criminals perpetrated, but surely there will be one.
    – H.Li
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 22:58

2 Answers 2


Lexico's definition 1.1 should be read as 'show to be right, show to be reasonable, or show to be justified'. The second and third instances of 'show to be' are omitted for reasons of elegance, saving space, etc.

When you see a small list like that, given in a dictionary definition, with the items separated by commas, with 'or' preceding the final item, you should read the whole list, and (hopefully) get a general idea of the meaning. Then you may proceed to select the most suitable one for use e.g. in your writing, or when mentally composing a re-phrased sentence.

I agree that 'Justice is shown to be justified' may be considered clumsy, inelegant, and repetitive. In that case, one of the others can be chosen instead, for example 'Justice is shown to be right (or reasonable)'.

I can imagine, however, that a politician might exclaim in a speech, let us say after a convicted murderer has been executed, 'Justice is justified!', since such people often use simple repetitive slogans to force ideas into people's heads.


The idiomatic expression is: justice is served.

People are vindicated, not abstract concepts. Justice cannot be vindicated. Justice can be served or meted out, for example.

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