Definition of just in English:

just

adjective

  • 1Based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair.

    ‘a just and democratic society’
    ‘fighting for a just cause’
    • ‘When has a judge of a court made an order when it is not just and equitable to do so?’
    • ‘We strive hard to build a just society, but we ignore a glaring source of inequality.’
    • ‘They knew that a just society relies on a certain level of order and cohesiveness.’
    • ‘Other countries should follow the Dutch example of a decent, pure and just society.’
    • ‘A just and democratic approach to Iraq would also lead to the lifting of sanctions.’
    • ‘The more disturbing part of the answer may lie in the absence of a vision of a just society.’
    • ‘We have a duty as moral and just people, to educate other farangs who ride the buses.’
    • ‘The aim of creating a democracy in the heart of the Middle East is a just cause.’
    • ‘Would it be just and equitable for the respondents to receive no recompense for work done?’
    • ‘She is a fair and just ruler, and she causes unending problems for me and my brothers.’
    • ‘I don't believe there was a just reason for them not allowing me to take part in the race.’
    • ‘How then will the court decide what is a fair and just settlement for Richard and Hyacinth?’
    • ‘Was it just and reasonable that the defendant should owe a duty of care of the scope asserted by the plaintiff?’
    • ‘For the best part of 150 years, progressive opinion has seen the Civil War as a just war.’
    • ‘It raises the question as to whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose the duty contended for.’
    • ‘His idea of a just society was one which would allow a man to live well by his own efforts.’
    • ‘Thus is not for a just man to engage in warfare, since warfare is justice itself.’
    fair, fair-minded, equitable, even-handed, impartial, unbiased, objective, neutral, disinterested, unprejudiced, open-minded, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, anti-discrimination
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of treatment) deserved or appropriate in the circumstances.
      ‘we all get our just deserts’
      • ‘The manager's gong would be just reward for the way the Redhill boss has built his side this year.’
      • ‘How heartening it is in these cruel and trite times to know that real talent may still receive its just reward.’
      • ‘Unless, of course, they had been dissing me, in which case they got their just deserts.’
      • ‘It was just reward for the Brazilian driver after bad luck in qualifying put him down the order on the grid.’
      • ‘All the pressure has been at their end of the pitch and the goal was just reward for the way we played in the second half.’
      • ‘If he does guide the Blades into the Premiership it will be a just reward for one of the game's grafters.’
      • ‘His birdie on the hardest hole on the course was just reward for his superb approach shot.’
      • ‘It was just reward for all the hard work Gareth has put in since joining the society two years ago.’
      • ‘An appropriately drawn limitation statute would surely produce a more just result.’
      • ‘I am over the moon for our fans, it is just reward for the way they have been behind us all season.’
      • ‘It's going to be exciting for all of us and we will be hoping for a good points finish as just reward.’
      deserved, well deserved, well earned, merited, earned
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 (of an opinion or appraisal) well founded; justifiable.
      ‘these simplistic approaches have been the subject of just criticism’
      • ‘The series is most criticized for feeling dry and intellectual, or at least emotionally uninvolving -- a just criticism.’
      • ‘There must surely be a broad public interest in just complaints of this kind being sustained.’
      • ‘It is not a just criticism of such assessment that it does not provide answers to all questions, just as it is not a just criticism of standardized assessment that it does not inform instruction.’
      valid, sound, well founded, well grounded, justified, justifiable, warranted, warrantable, defensible, defendable, legitimate, reasonable, logical
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adverb

  • 1Exactly.

    ‘that's just what I need’
    ‘you're a human being, just like everyone else’
    • ‘His father leaves him a cat in his will and the cat proves to be just as bossy as everyone else.’
    • ‘He had looked at this as a simple ball to be enjoyed, when in fact it was just as much a trial to everyone else as to him.’
    • ‘He had always been lucky, and he did survive the storm, just as he had survived the war.’
    • ‘The soft midsummer evening was just right for a romantic stroll around Malham Tarn.’
    • ‘But we have spent a lot of time getting the pastry just right so it rises perfectly.’
    • ‘It would be just as welcome served as a nourishing warm dessert on a cool summer evening.’
    • ‘That she didn't have to worry about getting married and having babies, not just yet.’
    • ‘I had no idea who he was, but I could feel it just as strongly as everyone else around me.’
    • ‘The icing on the cake would be to make Trinidad just as popular a tourist attraction.’
    • ‘But it was a show, for everyone, and mums and dads enjoyed it just as much as the children.’
    • ‘They got their way with dear old Bobby in the end, and they will with Eriksson, but not just yet.’
    • ‘She will then have another six fittings to make sure the final creation is just perfect.’
    • ‘Maybe not just yet, but it might be the only way for some, that things can really get better.’
    • ‘My new songs are all I have, along with my liberty, and everything has to be just right from now on in.’
    • ‘The point here is that there were bullies in the school system then just as there are today.’
    • ‘This is the main reason why going to see short films should be just as easy as catching the latest blockbuster.’
    • ‘They may well be unbeaten but could just as easily have lost their last three matches.’
    • ‘For many humans, bewitched by this remarkable place, the pull is just as strong.’
    • ‘And most of them are just as stuck inside their own point of view as everyone else.’
    • ‘Everyone knows kids would be just as happy playing with the box a present comes in as with the present itself.’
    exactly, precisely, absolutely, completely, totally, entirely, perfectly, utterly, wholly, thoroughly, altogether, in every way, in every respect, in all respects, quite
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Exactly or almost exactly at this or that moment.
      ‘she's just coming’
      ‘we were just finishing breakfast’
      • ‘I'm just grumpy because the football will be starting tonight just as I walk into work.’
      • ‘Then there are those days when it emerges from hiding just as an unfortunate vehicle is passing above.’
      • ‘The view is sublime: we are looking straight back down the loch whence we have just come.’
      • ‘But just as the half looked well set to follow the pattern of the first, City took the lead.’
      • ‘Then just as we were getting to the outskirts of town and heading for the motorway, we stopped at the lights.’
      • ‘She was a meek and mild kind of lady and she'd just come out of hospital a few weeks back.’
      • ‘Firing machine guns, they robbed the hotel's jewellery store just as it was being closed.’
      • ‘The second and third points are not, in my view persuasive for the reasons which I have just given.’
      • ‘After a pause, Huw tries to speak to fill the gap, just as the track comes in.’
      • ‘The ad cycles are really just starting, so we should be fair.’
      • ‘As strange as it sounds, she's just beginning to realize they're part of her body.’
      • ‘No doubt by now everything is perfected, but today Lederer has just come from rehearsals.’
      • ‘You'd go into one office and it's perfect, like someone just left to go to the bathroom.’
      • ‘These thoughts race through the brain just as a kick of adrenaline triggers a survival instinct.’
      • ‘He would then have escaped via the garage door just as the pensioner was beginning to take in the scene of chaos.’
      • ‘The bearded gentleman pictured right staggered off the line just as I approached.’
      • ‘He was not pompous at all and did not look worried as if he had just come straight from court.’
      • ‘An early equaliser was topped by a dramatic headed winner just as extra-time beckoned.’
      • ‘Those arrested included Mr Rihal, on his way home to look after his wife who had just left hospital.’
      • ‘But just as he was ready to go into action, his unit was struck by an outbreak of meningitis.’
  • 2Very recently; in the immediate past.

    ‘I've just seen the local paper’
    • ‘She'd been in Delhi all these years, and had just recent come down to Mumbai for a visit to her folks.’
    • ‘Okay so we've just lost two games, but that's no reason for people to jump on his back.’
    • ‘She had talked about it in the past but she had just spent a month in Thailand and seemed happy.’
    • ‘Morehampton Square was the perfect place to live in a city that was just beginning to take off.’
    • ‘It is also a time for reflection, looking back on the year we have just had and forward to what will be.’
    • ‘We've just published an article and a report on the subject of India's growing components industry.’
    • ‘The local shop lifters have just been round selling turkey for a pound a pack.’
    • ‘A property which has just come on to the market is a perfect example of the change.’
    • ‘They have just got planning permission to extend once more, this time over the garage.’
    • ‘This is when Vaclav Havel came to speak to Congress just after the fall of the Soviet Union.’
    a moment ago, a second ago, a short time ago, very recently, not long ago, lately, only now
    View synonyms
  • 3Barely; by a little.

    ‘inflation fell to just over 4 per cent’
    ‘I only just caught the train’
    • ‘The base of the trunk is pushed just four feet into the ground and secured with a dozen or more wooden wedges.’
    • ‘To get to the article you'll have to scroll down just a tiny bit past the dated updates at the top of the page.’
    • ‘He said a car had just managed to squeeze past the people carrier, and he had tried to do the same but in vain.’
    • ‘Woods opts to putt from off the green and just scrapes past the right edge, leaving a tiddler for his par.’
    • ‘Seconds later he was on the other side of the penalty box, thrashing in a drive that just skidded past the post.’
    • ‘It began when a local meeting just outside Worcester got rather out of hand.’
    • ‘Billy Mehmet was allowed to work his way into the box, only to drag his shot just wide of the upright.’
    • ‘We rounded a curve just past a grove of fruit laden olive trees and our destination suddenly came into view.’
    • ‘Pandiani almost hits straight back for Deportivo, but the ball just skips away from him.’
    • ‘His hair reached just past his shoulders and pointed ears were sticking out from his hair.’
    • ‘By the time I got there she was just visible going past the bridge so we sat and waited for her to come back.’
    • ‘The county council should be asked to fill in a large pothole on the corner just past the Old Wharf.’
    • ‘The keeper saved his header from a free kick, while another shot fizzed just past the post.’
    • ‘When she'd lifted it up, just past her stomach, she went limp and fell back on to the bed.’
    • ‘It was just past lunchtime and Pete Astor had nothing to do for the next few hours.’
    • ‘The conversion into the wind just slipped past the upright and at the turn honours were even.’
    • ‘The stars shone down on the camp and just past the tree line, a graceful elf with golden hair stood.’
    • ‘I'm sixteen years old with curling black hair that goes just a little past my shoulder.’
    • ‘I was paired with Ray Wilkins and I topped my opening drive just past the ladies' tees.’
    • ‘For sheer terror, however, there is little to compare to that road just outside of La Paz.’
    by a narrow margin, narrowly, only just, by inches, by a hair's breadth, by the narrowest of margins
    View synonyms
  • 4Simply; only; no more than.

    ‘just a bad day in the office’
    ‘they were just interested in making money’
    • ‘In a twenty minute extract where there is no clear reason for the quotation it was just going to look odd.’
    • ‘Mobile phone bills can be very expensive, but for some reason most of us just put up with this as a fact of life.’
    • ‘If she starts behaving badly I just walk away and let things calm down until her tantrum has gone away.’
    • ‘Even if we are just one step ahead, it effectively means that we can keep death away.’
    • ‘I was tight to him and holding him, and to be fair to him he was just trying to shrug me off.’
    • ‘The pair live just doors away from each other, and have enjoyed several dinner dates together.’
    • ‘A teenage car criminal has been locked up for a year just days after being ordered by a court to behave.’
    • ‘We're just cruising in a straight line until we get a better plan at the moment.’
    • ‘He had his hand over his eye and the blood was just coming straight through his fingers.’
    • ‘Writing off the debt of developing countries is not just a moral but also a legal obligation.’
    • ‘We are just ordinary people wanting a decent service and we are being told we will not get it.’
    • ‘There is no reason for it to be that heavy, but they just felt it should be.’
    • ‘Suddenly he was fair game once more and there was more than just terrorism on the agenda.’
    • ‘I am just looking at what it says for a straight robbery or attempt with actual bodily harm.’
    • ‘Of course he was going so fast that he could not make the left, so he just kept going straight.’
    • ‘Nobody really wants to debate any longer, they are just interested in scoring points.’
    • ‘Remember, you're not just part of the process, you are the reason the service exists.’
    • ‘After all, the whole principle was to look after members and not just shareholders.’
    • ‘It would be a bit naïve of me to think I will just walk straight into the first team here.’
    • ‘I was just going to say I thought there were two reasons why there is a big difference.’
    only, merely, simply, but, nothing but, no more than
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 Really; absolutely (used for emphasis)
      ‘they're just great’
      • ‘Not only were some of them plain uncomfortable, but a few were just downright embarrassing!’
      • ‘I just find blues to be a lot more rewarding to listen to then a lot of contemporary bands.’
      • ‘The fact that I will never get to meet my mystery admirer just makes things all the more romantic.’
      • ‘So many of the characters and dialogue in this movie are just one cliche after another.’
      • ‘I came to this country for many reasons but one of them is that I just plain like Americans.’
      • ‘And some were just downright practical with calculators, measuring tapes and bottles of water.’
      • ‘He was known to not trust humans, but that was just downright… strange.’
      • ‘I am a resident of Mealbank and at the end of our road the road surface is just disintegrating.’
      • ‘Everyone back at base has been working really hard and it is just disappointing not to finish.’
      • ‘The planning and care utilised in replacing the Swindon hospitals is just mind boggling.’
      • ‘We just couldn't get past tackle three or four, and we didn't build any pressure.’
      • ‘To find out Jenny is earning so much more from the show is just astonishing.’
      • ‘In this film I just wanted to get past the nudity issue very early and get on to other things.’
      • ‘If any one of you lovely people have linked to a post in the past, it just isn't going to work any more.’
      • ‘Just ask the millions of people who use and love a Mac why it's become such an integral part of their lives, and most will tell you the same thing: It just works.’
      • ‘However, residents fear problems will just snowball if more property is built in the area.’
      • ‘He said they were very good and D agreed, which just shows that virtue is its own reward.’
      • ‘But the potential loss of the local loo was just not going to be allowed to happen.’
      • ‘But up there on the sixth floor of the block, you can one day see him fitting in just fine.’
      • ‘The rest of this record, however, is just plain dull and never seems to be going anywhere.’
      really, absolutely, completely, entirely, totally, altogether, positively, quite, one hundred per cent
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2 Used as a polite formula for giving permission or making a request.
      ‘just help yourselves’
      • ‘When she was gone, Ari said, " Let's just head upstairs.’
      • ‘If you have sent stuff recently just drop me a line to make sure I've got it, cheers.’
      • ‘"Please just wait for me… I have to tell you something!’
      • ‘"Come on, let's just lay low for a while.’
      • ‘"As to whether there will be military exercises, please just wait and see.’
      • ‘How you do it and what it takes is of no interest to me, just make absolutely sure that it is there.’
      • ‘If you are stuck for ideas, just ask your local wine merchant for recommendations.’
    3. 4.3with modal Possibly (used to indicate a slight chance of something happening or being true)
      ‘it might just help’
      • ‘If you haven't already got a ticket then get one because you may just get the chance to see a bit of history in the making.’
      • ‘De Villiers said at the time he felt he was up to it, and it looks like he may just get that chance.’
      • ‘The true pro might just set his stall out to repeat as best he can his peak form.’
      • ‘You say you feel depleted and tired, so why can't you just stop for that reason?’
      • ‘If only these folk would look at past history they might just see the possibility of a big surprise.’
  • 5Expressing agreement.

    ‘‘Simon really messed things up.’ ‘Didn't he just?’’

Phrases

  • just about

    • informal Almost exactly; nearly.

      ‘he can do just about anything’
      • ‘That obviously would be unacceptable to them, as it would be to just about anyone.’
      • ‘Huntley was also a man who must have thought he could get away with just about anything.’
      • ‘You can feast as never before; you can shop at all hours and you can buy just about anything.’
      • ‘There are links here to just about everything and anything to do with the periodic table.’
      • ‘It seems like some biotech companies will do just about anything to make a buck?’
      • ‘He has a good understanding of rugby, and when he's on his game he can do just about anything.’
      • ‘The medium seems to serve as a way to say just about anything and have the message picked up by the media.’
      • ‘In the end I could stand it no more and even though it was just about time to go to bed, I went and washed my hair.’
      • ‘The human mind is very flexible and will find ways to justify just about anything.’
      • ‘We watered them in, and we've been giving them a drink just about every day since.’
      nearly, almost, practically, all but, virtually, as good as, more or less, close to, nigh on, to all intents and purposes, not far off
      View synonyms
  • just as well

    • A good or fortunate thing.

      ‘it was just as well I didn't know at the time’
      • ‘The jetlag hasn't kicked in yet, which is just as well because I've had to hit the ground running.’
      • ‘Which was just as well because he had no intention of giving me anything.’
      • ‘It is just as well that Mr Imbert added that implementation was one of his strengths.’
      • ‘It's just as well there's no-one here right now to be sympathetic and supportive.’
      • ‘This is just as well, given his curious double life at opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum.’
      • ‘He is enthusiastic and clearly loves his job - which is just as well, since he works six days a week.’
      • ‘It began to seem possible that his never having asked me was just as well.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's just as well that I didn't have to dispose of it on the web, though.’
      • ‘By the time he got back, they were gone, which was just as well because much of the rage and derision was directed at him.’
      • ‘The family didn't see these Allied soldiers at the house again - which was just as well.’
  • just a minute (or moment, or second, etc.)

    • 1Used to ask someone to wait or pause for a short time.

      ‘just a minute—my friend's left something behind’
      • ‘We'll get to that in just a second, but do me a favor take me back to January 10, 2005, 4: 00 p.m. Iraqi time.’
      • ‘Wait just a second, disengage your magnetic boots, everyone.’
      • ‘Wait for just a second or two more and surely the output will be different.’
      • ‘Something unusual about this one caught my eye however - hang on just a second.’
      • ‘‘Now wait just a second,’ Jordan began, her anger rising as she began to storm toward him.’
      • ‘Catching my eye he nodded and signaled to wait just a second.’
      • ‘‘Wait just a second, Xena I need to talk to you’ Ares said, while running up to them.’
      • ‘Wait just a second; let me finish up this coffee and I'll make you some breakfast.’
      • ‘And I think he'll say, wait a minute, just a second because he knows only one thing, this is a very selfish and extraordinarily vicious man.’
      wait, wait a minute, just a moment, just a second, stay here, stay put, remain here
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Used to interrupt someone, especially in protest or disagreement.
        ‘‘They know what to do.’ ‘Now just a moment!’ the American interrupted’
        • ‘Robyn, let me interrupt you for just a second if I could with a question because you know a lot of people out there, today, are thinking I've got to go out and find something right now.’
        • ‘I'm going to ask you guys to hold on just a second.’
        • ‘And Congressman Rangel, if you could hold on just a second, I want to bring the conversation here at home.’
        • ‘Well, actually, let me brag just a second about Larry.’
        • ‘Gentlemen, just a second, let me just set the record straight here and I think we can reach agreement.’
        • ‘Barbara, let me interrupt you for just a second.’
        • ‘They almost always call back and I say ‘Yes yes, just a second, I have my boss on the other line, please hold.’’
        • ‘Let me interrupt you for just a second here.’
        • ‘If I could break in for just a second, I just want to bounce off what the other speaker just said, which I found fascinating.’
        • ‘I have sympathy for the circumstances they found themselves in, but just a second, let me make this absolutely clear.’
        • ‘But I want to share a picture with you anyhow, so just a second here…’
        • ‘But just a second - a lot of this seems to have happened because Buffy dies, and I'm injured trying to save her.’
  • just now

    • 1At this moment.

      ‘it's pretty hectic just now’
      • ‘But it is especially hectic just now - we are over here in New York, then it's back to Scotland on Saturday.’
      • ‘No, there's still only one truly imperial power on the planet at the moment, and it's just now reached its peak.’
      • ‘It must be hard for her to hurt her son, but the pain I have to suffer from my disease is pretty bad just now so please, God, excuse me for the odd word in vain.’
      • ‘He's consistent, powerful, a huge hitter and, most importantly, he has bags of confidence and momentum just now.’
      • ‘He tried not to laugh as he said this, since she looked pretty homicidal just now.’
      • ‘My sleep patterns are pretty bad just now so I am awake half the night and not particularly with it during the day - tired and emotional.’
      • ‘However warm or cold we are to the general idea of the EU, nothing we decide just now will slow or speed up its political momentum.’
    • 2A little time ago.

      ‘she was talking to me just now’
      • ‘You know, when I saw Olivia just now, I thought for a fleeting moment - we're both victims here.’
      • ‘It takes a lot to make me smile at the moment - and this eBay auction managed it just now.’
      • ‘I see, because you know we heard just now that some of the problems with commuting are pretty dire.’
      • ‘There are some moments when Chichester is just fabulous, and just now was one of them.’
      • ‘She had sounded so sad just now after she had been smiling only a moment ago.’
    • 3In a little while; very soon.

      ‘I'll come just now but I want breakfast first’
      • ‘Just now hard drives will be a thing of the past.’
      • ‘I will try the new drivers just now, I'm just downloading them.’
      soon, shortly, in a little while, in a short time, presently, before long, in the near future
      View synonyms
  • just on

    • (with reference to time and numbers) exactly.

      ‘it was just on midnight’
      • ‘Once, in a restaurant restroom where there would be no rest, I was just on the point of giving up.’
      • ‘They went ahead when Tom Copeland fielded a stray opposition kick just on half way.’
      • ‘Wath reduced the arrears just on the break with a penalty when the New Lane side were caught offside.’
      • ‘Actually the earthy colour scheme used throughout the property is probably just on the somber side of restful.’
      • ‘But just on the break they reduced the arrears when Danny Hickey went the length of the field to score.’
      • ‘It was just on the stroke of half time that an incident occurred that would change the course of the game.’
      • ‘David Watt got the opener, Marc Anthony grabbed a second and Garry Wood claimed a third just on the interval.’
      • ‘The game had opened up with such alacrity that something had to give and it did so just on half time but in the most conventional manner.’
      • ‘We do know it intuitively, but since we don't know the rules, we live just on the edge of knowing it.’
      • ‘We finished just on schedule on Wednesday and returned to the island on Friday.’
  • just so

    • 1Arranged or done very neatly and carefully.

      ‘polishing the furniture and making everything just so’
      • ‘His bedroom has to be just so, and he doesn't like furniture to be moved.’
      • ‘She puffs her chest out and stays still, looking this way and that, up and down, arranging her tail just so.’
      • ‘That said, for a man who likes everything in his life to be just so, he has had a fairly traumatic six months.’
      • ‘She was wearing a business skirt and a nice blouse, and she had her hair done up just so.’
      • ‘The dance floor in particular took a lot of sweat to keep in form for the dancers but it was always kept just so.’
      • ‘John and Ethan have been working at it nearly everyday, making sure everything is just so.’
      • ‘They like everything just so and have not had an outspoken driver since the days of Ayrton Senna.’
    • 2Used to express agreement.

      ‘‘And to limit the hours,’ Jasper added. ‘Just so.’’
      • ‘"Just so," said the incorrigible toper," but I never saw a drunken man before; because I am always the first to get drunk and the last to get sober."’
      • ‘"Just so!" said the Plain Man. "I see what you mean. I'll tell you a brand new tale of my own to prove that I do."’
      yes, exactly, quite, absolutely, right, that's right, just so, quite so, indubitably, without a doubt, definitely
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin justus, from jus ‘law, right’.

Pronunciation

just

/dʒʌst/