do justice to

do justice to


This phrase can be used in the positive or negative sense in the positive sense it means:

  • to speak of or otherwise show a person or thing in its true light
  • to represent someone or something to their/its full advantage
  • to make a point of emphasising the positive rather than negative characteristics

Not doing justice to someone or something means:

  • missing out something important or otherwise not showing the best parts of a thing, project or person
  • or: some reason / technicality / hindrance makes it impossible for the positive aspects to be seen

Example sentences

  1. Your plan is excellent – it really does justice to all of the ideas we put forward.
  2. If you really want to do it justice, you will have to work much harder on the details; they are small but important.
  3. To do justice to her beauty, you should photograph her in nature; not in a studio.
  4. You have not stated your case clearly enough, therefore you have not done justice to the facts.
  5. This picture doesn’t do justice to the way it looks in real life. You have to be there to truly appreciate the beauty of the place.
  6. If you rush the job, you won’t do it justice.


The first known written example of this phrase is from John Dryden’s Preface to Troilus and Cressida (1679):

“I cannot leave this subject before I do justice to that Divine Poet.”


  • don’t do justice to
  • do it justice
  • does it justice
  • doesn’t do it justice

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