Definition of just in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʒʌst/


1Based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair: a just and democratic society fighting for a just cause
More example sentences
  • It raises the question as to whether it is fair, just and reasonable to impose the duty contended for.
  • 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?
fair, fair-minded, equitable, even-handed, impartial, unbiased, objective, neutral, disinterested, unprejudiced, open-minded, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, anti-discrimination;
honourable, upright, upstanding, decent, honest, righteous, ethical, moral, virtuous, principled, full of integrity, good, right-minded, straight, reasonable, scrupulous, trustworthy, incorruptible, truthful, sincere
informal square
1.1(Of treatment) deserved or appropriate in the circumstances: we all get our just deserts
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
deserved, well deserved, well earned, merited, earned;
rightful, due, proper, fitting, appropriate, apt, suitable, befitting
formal condign
archaic meet
1.2(Of an opinion or appraisal) well founded; justifiable: these simplistic approaches have been the subject of just criticism
More example sentences
  • 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
rare vindicable


1Exactly: that’s just what I need you’re a human being, just like everyone else
More example sentences
  • They got their way with dear old Bobby in the end, and they will with Eriksson, but not just yet.
  • 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.
exactly, precisely, absolutely, completely, totally, entirely, perfectly, utterly, wholly, thoroughly, altogether, in every way, in every respect, in all respects, quite
informal down to the ground, to a T, bang on, dead
North American informal on the money
1.1Exactly or almost exactly at this or that moment: she’s just coming we were just finishing breakfast
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The second and third points are not, in my view persuasive for the reasons which I have just given.
2Very recently; in the immediate past: I’ve just seen the local paper
More example sentences
  • She had talked about it in the past but she had just spent a month in Thailand and seemed happy.
  • She'd been in Delhi all these years, and had just recent come down to Mumbai for a visit to her folks.
  • The local shop lifters have just been round selling turkey for a pound a pack.
a moment ago, a second ago, a short time ago, very recently, not long ago, lately, only now
3Barely; by a little: inflation fell to just over 4 per cent I only just caught the train
More example sentences
  • The base of the trunk is pushed just four feet into the ground and secured with a dozen or more wooden wedges.
  • Billy Mehmet was allowed to work his way into the box, only to drag his shot just wide of the upright.
  • Pandiani almost hits straight back for Deportivo, but the ball just skips away from him.
by a narrow margin, narrowly, only just, by inches, by a hair's breadth, by the narrowest of margins;
barely, scarcely, hardly
informal by the skin of one's teeth, by a whisker
4Simply; only; no more than: just a bad day in the office they were just interested in making money
More example sentences
  • Nobody really wants to debate any longer, they are just interested in scoring points.
  • If she starts behaving badly I just walk away and let things calm down until her tantrum has gone away.
  • It would be a bit naïve of me to think I will just walk straight into the first team here.
only, merely, simply, but, nothing but, no more than;
at best, at most;
alone, to the exclusion of everyone/everything else, and no one else, and nothing else;
Northern English  nobbut
South African informal sommer
4.1Really; absolutely (used for emphasis): they’re just great
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Everyone back at base has been working really hard and it is just disappointing not to finish.
really, absolutely, completely, entirely, totally, altogether, positively, quite, one hundred per cent;
indeed, truly
4.2Used as a polite formula for giving permission or making a request: just help yourselves
More example sentences
  • "Please just wait for me… I have to tell you something!
  • "As to whether there will be military exercises, please just wait and see.
  • When she was gone, Ari said, " Let's just head upstairs.
4.3 [with modal] Possibly (used to indicate a slight chance of something happening or being true): it might just help
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The true pro might just set his stall out to repeat as best he can his peak form.
  • De Villiers said at the time he felt he was up to it, and it looks like he may just get that chance.
5Expressing agreement: ‘Simon really messed things up.’ ‘Didn’t he just?’



just about

informal Almost exactly; nearly: he can do just about anything
More example sentences
  • You can feast as never before; you can shop at all hours and you can buy just about anything.
  • He has a good understanding of rugby, and when he's on his game he can do just about anything.
  • There are links here to just about everything and anything to do with the periodic table.
nearly, almost, practically, all but, virtually, as good as, more or less, close to, nigh on, to all intents and purposes, not far off;
not quite
informal pretty much
literary well-nigh

just as well

A good or fortunate thing: it was just as well I didn’t know at the time
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Which was just as well because he had no intention of giving me anything.
  • It's just as well there's no-one here right now to be sympathetic and supportive.

just in case

see case1.
Example sentences
  • Please take the time to make your plan to stay safe – just in case.
  • It's a good idea to keep a survival kit around just in case.

just a minute (or moment, or second, etc.)

Used to ask someone to wait or pause for a short time: just a minute—my friend’s left something behind
More example sentences
  • 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 just a second; let me finish up this coffee and I'll make you some breakfast.
  • Wait just a second, disengage your magnetic boots, everyone.
4.1Used to interrupt someone, especially in protest or disagreement: ‘They know what to do.’ ‘Now just a moment!’ the American interrupted
More example sentences
  • Barbara, let me interrupt you for just a second.
  • 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.
  • Let me interrupt you for just a second here.

just now

1At this moment: it’s pretty hectic just now
More example sentences
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • You know, when I saw Olivia just now, I thought for a fleeting moment - we're both victims here.
3South African In a little while; very soon: I’ll come just now but I want breakfast first
More example sentences
  • Just now hard drives will be a thing of the past.
  • I will try the new drivers just now, I'm just downloading them.

just on

(With reference to time and numbers) exactly: it was just on midnight
More example sentences
  • David Watt got the opener, Marc Anthony grabbed a second and Garry Wood claimed a third just on the interval.
  • 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.

just so

1Arranged or done very neatly and carefully: polishing the furniture and making everything just so
More example sentences
  • She puffs her chest out and stays still, looking this way and that, up and down, arranging her tail 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.
2 formal Used to express agreement: ‘And to limit the hours,’ Jasper added. ‘Just so.’
More example sentences
  • "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."



Pronunciation: /ˈdʒʌstnəs/
Example sentences
  • I believe that the time frame suggested in the bill in which claims should be completed suggests that we may compromise justness and fairness all for the sake of expediency.
  • States might have been willing to concede the theoretical justness of the functional principle, but they would not enforce it in real negotiations.
  • This would be one who believes himself to be an exception to rules of fairness, justness, or courtesy.


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

  • judge from Middle English:

    The word judge, recorded in English since the Middle Ages, looks back to a Latin word based on jus ‘law’ (the source also of just (Late Middle English), justice (Old English), injury (Late Middle English)), and dicere ‘to say’. Judges are often thought of as solemn and impressive figures, and the expression sober as a judge goes back to the 17th century, with sober originally meaning ‘serious, grave’ rather than ‘not drunk’.

Words that rhyme with just

adjust, august, bust, combust, crust, dust, encrust, entrust, gust, lust, mistrust, must, robust, rust, thrust, trust, undiscussed

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: just

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