Meaning of JUST in English




Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Please look at category 20 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.


You use just to say that something happened a very short time ago, or is starting to happen at the present time. For example, if you say that someone has just arrived , you mean that they arrived a very short time ago.

I’ve just bought a new house...

The two had only just met...

I just had the most awful dream...

I’m only just beginning to take it in that he’s still missing.

ADV : ADV before v


If you say that you are just doing something, you mean that you are doing it now and will finish it very soon. If you say that you are just about to do something, or just going to do it, you mean that you will do it very soon.

I’m just making the sauce for the cauliflower...

I’m just going to walk down the lane now and post some letters...

The Vietnam War was just about to end.

ADV : ADV before v , ADV about/going to-inf


You can use just to emphasize that something is happening at exactly the moment of speaking or at exactly the moment that you are talking about.

Randall would just now be getting the Sunday paper...

Just then the phone rang...

Just as she prepared to set off to the next village, two friends arrived in a taxi.

ADV : ADV adv / prep , ADV as/when cl [ emphasis ]


You use just to indicate that something is no more important, interesting, or difficult, for example, than you say it is, especially when you want to correct a wrong idea that someone may get or has already got.

It’s just a suggestion...

It’s not just a financial matter...

You can tell just by looking at me that I am all right...

= simply

ADV : ADV group / cl [ emphasis ]


You use just to emphasize that you are talking about a small part, not the whole of an amount.

That’s just one example of the kind of experiments you can do...

= only, merely

ADV : ADV n [ emphasis ]


You use just to emphasize how small an amount is or how short a length of time is.

Stephanie and David redecorated a room in just three days...

= only

ADV : ADV amount [ emphasis ]


You can use just in front of a verb to indicate that the result of something is unfortunate or undesirable and is likely to make the situation worse rather than better.

Leaving like I did just made it worse...

= only

ADV : ADV before v


You use just to indicate that what you are saying is the case, but only by a very small degree or amount.

Her hand was just visible by the light from the sitting room...

I arrived just in time for my flight to London...

ADV : ADV adj / adv / prep , ADV before v


You use just with ‘might,’ ‘may,’ and ‘could’, when you mean that there is a small chance of something happening, even though it is not very likely.

It’s an old trick but it just might work...

ADV : ADV with modal


You use just to emphasize the following word or phrase, in order to express feelings such as annoyance, admiration, or certainty.

She just won’t relax...

I knew you’d be here. I just knew...

ADV : ADV before v , ADV adj / n [ emphasis ]


You use just in expressions such as just a minute and just a moment to ask someone to wait for a short time. ( SPOKEN )

‘Let me in, Di.’—‘Okay. Just a minute.’

= hold on



You can use just in expressions such as just a minute and just a moment to interrupt someone, for example in order to disagree with them, explain something, or calm them down. ( SPOKEN )

Well, now just a second, I don’t altogether agree with the premise.



You can use just with negative question tags, for example ‘ isn’t he just? ’ and ‘ don’t they just! ’, to say that you agree completely with what has been said. ( BRIT SPOKEN )

‘That’s crazy,’ I said. ‘Isn’t it just?’ he said...

‘The manager’s going to have some tough decisions to make.’—‘Won’t he just.’

ADV : with neg , cl ADV [ emphasis ]


If you say that you can just see or hear something, you mean that it is easy for you to imagine seeing or hearing it.

I can just hear her telling her friends, ‘Well, I blame his mother!’

= almost

ADV : ADV before v


You use just to mean exactly, when you are specifying something precisely or asking for precise information.

There are no statistics about just how many people won’t vote...

My arm hurts too, just here...

ADV : ADV cl / prep / adv


You use just to emphasize that a particular thing is exactly what is needed or fits a particular description exactly.

Kiwi fruit are just the thing for a healthy snack...

‘Let’s get a coffee somewhere.’—‘I know just the place.’

ADV : ADV n [ emphasis ]


You use just in expressions such as just like , just , and just the same when you are emphasizing the similarity between two things or two people.

Behind the facade they are just like the rest of us...

He worked just as hard as anyone...

ADV : ADV like n , ADV as adj / adv , ADV n [ emphasis ]


You use just about to indicate that what you are talking about is so close to being the case that it can be regarded as being the case.

What does she read? Just about everything...

= practically

PHRASE : PHR n / adj / adv


You use just about to indicate that what you are talking about is in fact the case, but only by a very small degree or amount.

We’ve got just about enough time to get there.

PHRASE : PHR before v , PHR n / adj


just my luck: see luck

not just: see not

just now: see now

only just: see only

it just goes to show: see show




If you describe a situation, action, or idea as just , you mean that it is right or acceptable according to particular moral principles, such as respect for all human beings. ( FORMAL )

In a just society there must be a system whereby people can seek redress through the courts...

= fair

≠ unjust


• just‧ly

No government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people.

= fairly

≠ unjustly

ADV : ADV with v


to get your just deserts: see desert

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.