I UK [dʒʌst] / US adverb ***
1) used for saying when something happens
a) soon, or at a particular time

I can't come now. I'm just putting the children to bed.

just now/at the moment/at present:

Mr Reynolds is busy just now, but he'll see you after lunch.

I don't feel like talking to anyone just at the moment.

just then/at that moment:

Just then a knock at the door interrupted our conversation.

be just going/about to do something:

Mahmud was just about to leave when someone called his name.

I was just going to ask you the same question.

just when/as:

Just when you think it's all over, the trouble starts again.

b) a short time ago, or a short time before something that happened in the past

Mum's just gone down to the shops.

Andy had just arrived in Australia the day before.

Susan was just telling me about your new job.

only just (= a very short time ago):

I've only just started, so I can't tell you anything yet.

c) used for emphasizing how recently something happened
just yesterday/last week etc:

Just last week it was freezing, and now it's too hot.

2) only
a) not more than a particular amount, number, distance etc

The medicine costs just a few pence to produce.

He quit the project after just four months.

There's a little bookshop just round the corner.

b) not better, worse, more important etc than what you are mentioning

It was just a silly mistake.

We're just a small business employing 15 staff.

c) not involving anything more than the thing that you are mentioning

We just wanted to make sure everyone was safe.

In my opinion, the argument is just about money.

No, I don't want to buy anything. I'm just looking.

3) exactly
a) British exactly a particular amount, number, age etc and not more or less

The bill came to just £3,552.

William was just five months and eleven days old.

b) used when referring to an exact time

It's just twenty-three minutes past five.

just on (= at the exact time that you mention):

We left just on the stroke of midnight.

c) exactly the right thing, place, or person

Thank you so much. It was just what I wanted.

just the thing/place/person etc:

It's just the place for a picnic.

4) spoken used for emphasis
a) used for emphasizing a statement

It was just awful seeing her so miserable.

I just can't believe what's happened.

Just exactly what do these lines represent?

b) used for emphasis when you are telling someone to do something

Now, just calm down and tell me what the trouble is.

Just look at that dress she's wearing!

5) when something almost does not happen used for saying that although something happens, it almost does not happen

The four girls just managed to squeeze into the back of Rick's car.

We should just get there in time if we hurry.

only just (= by a very small amount):

He did pass his final exam – but only just.

6) spoken used in requests used for making a request more polite

Could I just borrow your pen for a second?

could/might just as well do somethingspoken used for saying that one action or situation is as good or as possible as another

The traffic is so bad, we might just as well walk.

isn't he/she just/doesn't he/she just?spoken used for emphasizing that you completely agree with what someone has just said, especially a criticism

"That man loves the sound of his own voice." "Doesn't he just?"

it/that is just as wellspoken used for saying that a situation or result is good, even though it is not what you planned or expected; spoken used for saying that something is a sensible thing to do

We cancelled the trip, which was just as well, because it rained.

It would be just as well to check that they've arrived.

it's just that...spoken used when you are explaining your reaction to something

I do believe you. It's just that I'm a bit surprised.

just a minute/moment/secondspoken used for asking someone to wait for a short time; spoken used when interrupting someone, especially when you disagree with what they are saying

Just a moment. We're not ready for you yet.

Just a minute. You can't make accusations like that.

just as ... (as) — used for emphasizing that something is equally large, good, bad etc

Less expensive machines are just as good or even better.

Animals feel pain just as much as we do.

just because... — mainly spoken used for saying that even if one thing is true, this is not a reason for thinking that something else is true

Just because he's rich, it doesn't mean he's better than us.

just before/after — happening a very short time before or after something

My parents had got married just after the war.

just behind/above/below etc — in a position very close to someone or something

I was standing just behind her when she fainted.

just like/just as/just the same — exactly the same, or in exactly the same way

He's just like his father.

Of course, Cameron's plan failed, just as I expected it would.

might/may/could just do something — used for saying that although something is not at all likely to happen, it is possible

If he was lucky, he might just be able to escape.

not just any... — used for emphasizing that you are referring to someone or something that is special and important

He's not just any doctor – he's a head surgeon.


II UK [dʒʌst] / US adjective **
1) formal if a situation is just, everyone is treated equally and in a reasonable way

Our goal is a just and lasting peace.

a just society

Few people think that the decision was just.

a) morally right, or supported by a good reason

Many Americans no longer viewed it as a just war.

a just criticism of the failing health service

just cause:

The rebels believe they are fighting for a just cause.

b) making judgments in a way that is reasonable and morally right

a just ruler

2) a just reward or punishment is one that is deserved

The prize was a just reward for all their efforts.


English dictionary. 2014.

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