Definition of just in US 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 have a duty as moral and just people, to educate other farangs who ride the buses.’
    • ‘His idea of a just society was one which would allow a man to live well by his own efforts.’
    • ‘Would it be just and equitable for the respondents to receive no recompense for work done?’
    • ‘It raises the question as to whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose the duty contended for.’
    • ‘Other countries should follow the Dutch example of a decent, pure and just society.’
    • ‘Thus is not for a just man to engage in warfare, since warfare is justice itself.’
    • ‘She is a fair and just ruler, and she causes unending problems for me and my brothers.’
    • ‘How then will the court decide what is a fair and just settlement for Richard and Hyacinth?’
    • ‘The aim of creating a democracy in the heart of the Middle East is a just cause.’
    • ‘We strive hard to build a just society, but we ignore a glaring source of inequality.’
    • ‘A just and democratic approach to Iraq would also lead to the lifting of sanctions.’
    • ‘They knew that a just society relies on a certain level of order and cohesiveness.’
    • ‘For the best part of 150 years, progressive opinion has seen the Civil War as a just war.’
    • ‘I don't believe there was a just reason for them not allowing me to take part in the race.’
    • ‘Was it just and reasonable that the defendant should owe a duty of care of the scope asserted by the plaintiff?’
    • ‘The more disturbing part of the answer may lie in the absence of a vision of a just society.’
    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’
      • ‘Unless, of course, they had been dissing me, in which case they got their just deserts.’
      • ‘The manager's gong would be just reward for the way the Redhill boss has built his side this year.’
      • ‘It's going to be exciting for all of us and we will be hoping for a good points finish as just reward.’
      • ‘I am over the moon for our fans, it is just reward for the way they have been behind us all season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How heartening it is in these cruel and trite times to know that real talent may still receive its just reward.’
      • ‘If he does guide the Blades into the Premiership it will be a just reward for one of the game's grafters.’
      • ‘It was just reward for the Brazilian driver after bad luck in qualifying put him down the order on the grid.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His birdie on the hardest hole on the course was just reward for his superb approach shot.’
      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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The series is most criticized for feeling dry and intellectual, or at least emotionally uninvolving -- a just criticism.’
      valid, sound, well founded, well grounded, justified, justifiable, warranted, warrantable, defensible, defendable, legitimate, reasonable, logical
      View synonyms

adverb

  • 1Exactly.

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

    ‘I've just seen the local paper’
    • ‘She had talked about it in the past but she had just spent a month in Thailand and seemed happy.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is also a time for reflection, looking back on the year we have just had and forward to what will be.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They have just got planning permission to extend once more, this time over the garage.’
    • ‘A property which has just come on to the market is a perfect example of the change.’
    • ‘This is when Vaclav Havel came to speak to Congress just after the fall of the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘Morehampton Square was the perfect place to live in a city that was just beginning to take off.’
    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 percent’
    ‘I only just caught the train’
    ‘I got here just after nine’
    • ‘The county council should be asked to fill in a large pothole on the corner just past the Old Wharf.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seconds later he was on the other side of the penalty box, thrashing in a drive that just skidded past the post.’
    • ‘Billy Mehmet was allowed to work his way into the box, only to drag his shot just wide of the upright.’
    • ‘He said a car had just managed to squeeze past the people carrier, and he had tried to do the same but in vain.’
    • ‘It began when a local meeting just outside Worcester got rather out of hand.’
    • ‘The keeper saved his header from a free kick, while another shot fizzed just past the post.’
    • ‘The base of the trunk is pushed just four feet into the ground and secured with a dozen or more wooden wedges.’
    • ‘For sheer terror, however, there is little to compare to that road just outside of La Paz.’
    • ‘His hair reached just past his shoulders and pointed ears were sticking out from his hair.’
    • ‘Pandiani almost hits straight back for Deportivo, but the ball just skips away from him.’
    • ‘I'm sixteen years old with curling black hair that goes just a little past my shoulder.’
    • ‘The conversion into the wind just slipped past the upright and at the turn honours were even.’
    • ‘I was paired with Ray Wilkins and I topped my opening drive just past the ladies' tees.’
    • ‘When she'd lifted it up, just past her stomach, she went limp and fell back on to the bed.’
    • ‘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 stars shone down on the camp and just past the tree line, a graceful elf with golden hair stood.’
    • ‘It was just past lunchtime and Pete Astor had nothing to do for the next few hours.’
    • ‘Woods opts to putt from off the green and just scrapes past the right edge, leaving a tiddler for his par.’
    • ‘We rounded a curve just past a grove of fruit laden olive trees and our destination suddenly came into view.’
    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.

    ‘they were just interested in making money’
    • ‘We are just ordinary people wanting a decent service and we are being told we will not get it.’
    • ‘I was just going to say I thought there were two reasons why there is a big difference.’
    • ‘If she starts behaving badly I just walk away and let things calm down until her tantrum has gone away.’
    • ‘The pair live just doors away from each other, and have enjoyed several dinner dates together.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It would be a bit naïve of me to think I will just walk straight into the first team here.’
    • ‘I am just looking at what it says for a straight robbery or attempt with actual bodily harm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After all, the whole principle was to look after members and not just shareholders.’
    • ‘Suddenly he was fair game once more and there was more than just terrorism on the agenda.’
    • ‘He had his hand over his eye and the blood was just coming straight through his fingers.’
    • ‘I was tight to him and holding him, and to be fair to him he was just trying to shrug me off.’
    • ‘Remember, you're not just part of the process, you are the reason the service exists.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no reason for it to be that heavy, but they just felt it should be.’
    • ‘Even if we are just one step ahead, it effectively means that we can keep death away.’
    • ‘Writing off the debt of developing countries is not just a moral but also a legal obligation.’
    only, merely, simply, but, nothing but, no more than
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 Really; absolutely (used for emphasis)
      ‘they're just great’
      • ‘However, residents fear problems will just snowball if more property is built in the area.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fact that I will never get to meet my mystery admirer just makes things all the more romantic.’
      • ‘He said they were very good and D agreed, which just shows that virtue is its own reward.’
      • ‘I just find blues to be a lot more rewarding to listen to then a lot of contemporary bands.’
      • ‘The rest of this record, however, is just plain dull and never seems to be going anywhere.’
      • ‘We just couldn't get past tackle three or four, and we didn't build any pressure.’
      • ‘But the potential loss of the local loo was just not going to be allowed to happen.’
      • ‘If any one of you lovely people have linked to a post in the past, it just isn't going to work any more.’
      • ‘The planning and care utilised in replacing the Swindon hospitals is just mind boggling.’
      • ‘To find out Jenny is earning so much more from the show is just astonishing.’
      • ‘He was known to not trust humans, but that was just downright… strange.’
      • ‘Not only were some of them plain uncomfortable, but a few were just downright embarrassing!’
      • ‘But up there on the sixth floor of the block, you can one day see him fitting in just fine.’
      • ‘So many of the characters and dialogue in this movie are just one cliche after another.’
      • ‘In this film I just wanted to get past the nudity issue very early and get on to other things.’
      • ‘Everyone back at base has been working really hard and it is just disappointing not to finish.’
      • ‘I am a resident of Mealbank and at the end of our road the road surface is just disintegrating.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘If you are stuck for ideas, just ask your local wine merchant for recommendations.’
      • ‘"Come on, let's just lay low for a while.’
      • ‘How you do it and what it takes is of no interest to me, just make absolutely sure that it is there.’
      • ‘When she was gone, Ari said, " Let's just head upstairs.’
      • ‘"As to whether there will be military exercises, please just wait and see.’
      • ‘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!’
    3. 4.3with modal Possibly (used to indicate a slight chance of something happening or being true)
      ‘it might just help’
      • ‘The true pro might just set his stall out to repeat as best he can his peak form.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If only these folk would look at past history they might just see the possibility of a big surprise.’
      • ‘You say you feel depleted and tired, so why can't you just stop for that reason?’
  • 5Expressing agreement.

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

Phrases

  • just about

    • informal Almost exactly; nearly.

      ‘he can do just about anything’
      • ‘The human mind is very flexible and will find ways to justify just about anything.’
      • ‘You can feast as never before; you can shop at all hours and you can buy just about anything.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are links here to just about everything and anything to do with the periodic table.’
      • ‘That obviously would be unacceptable to them, as it would be to just about anyone.’
      • ‘It seems like some biotech companies will do just about anything to make a buck?’
      • ‘We watered them in, and we've been giving them a drink just about every day since.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Huntley was also a man who must have thought he could get away with just about anything.’
      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 family didn't see these Allied soldiers at the house again - which was just as well.’
      • ‘Perhaps it's just as well that I didn't have to dispose of it on the web, though.’
      • ‘This is just as well, given his curious double life at opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum.’
      • ‘It's just as well there's no-one here right now to be sympathetic and supportive.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • just now

    • 1At this moment.

      ‘it's pretty hectic just now’
      • ‘He's consistent, powerful, a huge hitter and, most importantly, he has bags of confidence and momentum just now.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He tried not to laugh as he said this, since she looked pretty homicidal just now.’
      • ‘No, there's still only one truly imperial power on the planet at the moment, and it's just now reached its peak.’
      • ‘But it is especially hectic just now - we are over here in New York, then it's back to Scotland on Saturday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    • 2A little time ago.

      ‘she was talking to me just now’
      • ‘It takes a lot to make me smile at the moment - and this eBay auction managed it just now.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You know, when I saw Olivia just now, I thought for a fleeting moment - we're both victims here.’
      • ‘I see, because you know we heard just now that some of the problems with commuting are pretty dire.’
  • just on

    • (with reference to time and numbers) exactly.

      ‘it was just on midnight’
      • ‘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 finished just on schedule on Wednesday and returned to the island on Friday.’
      • ‘David Watt got the opener, Marc Anthony grabbed a second and Garry Wood claimed a third just on the interval.’
      • ‘They went ahead when Tom Copeland fielded a stray opposition kick just on half way.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We do know it intuitively, but since we don't know the rules, we live just on the edge of knowing it.’
      • ‘Once, in a restaurant restroom where there would be no rest, I was just on the point of giving up.’
      • ‘Actually the earthy colour scheme used throughout the property is probably just on the somber side of restful.’
      • ‘Wath reduced the arrears just on the break with a penalty when the New Lane side were caught offside.’
  • just so

    • 1Arranged or done very neatly and carefully.

      ‘polishing the furniture and making everything just so’
      • ‘John and Ethan have been working at it nearly everyday, making sure everything is 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.’
      • ‘She was wearing a business skirt and a nice blouse, and she had her hair done up 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.’
      • ‘His bedroom has to be just so, and he doesn't like furniture to be moved.’
      • ‘They like everything just so and have not had an outspoken driver since the days of Ayrton Senna.’
      • ‘She puffs her chest out and stays still, looking this way and that, up and down, arranging her tail just so.’
    • 2Used to express agreement.

      • ‘"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."’
      • ‘"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."’
      yes, exactly, quite, absolutely, right, that's right, just so, quite so, indubitably, without a doubt, definitely
      View synonyms
  • just a minute, moment, second, etc.

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

      • ‘Wait just a second, disengage your magnetic boots, everyone.’
      • ‘Catching my eye he nodded and signaled to wait just a second.’
      • ‘Something unusual about this one caught my eye however - hang on just a second.’
      • ‘Wait for just a second or two more and surely the output will be different.’
      • ‘‘Wait just a second, Xena I need to talk to you’ Ares said, while running up to them.’
      • ‘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; 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.’
      • ‘‘Now wait just a second,’ Jordan began, her anger rising as she began to storm toward him.’
      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.
        • ‘But just a second - a lot of this seems to have happened because Buffy dies, and I'm injured trying to save her.’
        • ‘And Congressman Rangel, if you could hold on just a second, I want to bring the conversation here at home.’
        • ‘I have sympathy for the circumstances they found themselves in, but just a second, let me make this absolutely clear.’
        • ‘Gentlemen, just a second, let me just set the record straight here and I think we can reach agreement.’
        • ‘But I want to share a picture with you anyhow, so just a second here…’
        • ‘They almost always call back and I say ‘Yes yes, just a second, I have my boss on the other line, please hold.’’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Barbara, let me interrupt you for just a second.’
        • ‘Well, actually, let me brag just a second about Larry.’
        • ‘Let me interrupt you for just a second here.’
        • ‘I'm going to ask you guys to hold on just a second.’
        • ‘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.’
  • just the same

    • Nevertheless.

      ‘I put on my raincoat and big straw hat. But we got soaked just the same’
      • ‘Given time I hope my characters become somewhat of a staple just the same.’
      • ‘Perhaps the best way to learn how widely he's respected is to listen to folks who haven't had the chance to work with him very often - but who've learned from him just the same.’
      • ‘But I went ahead and did it just the same.’
      • ‘Whether he did it for dramatic effect or not I don't know, but he did it, just the same.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

just

/dʒəst//jəst/