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
- Your plan is excellent – it really does justice to all of the ideas we put forward.
- If you really want to do it justice, you will have to work much harder on the details; they are small but important.
- To do justice to her beauty, you should photograph her in nature; not in a studio.
- You have not stated your case clearly enough, therefore you have not done justice to the facts.
- 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.
- 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