Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

just - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb     just pronunciation in American English
  1. 1
    used for saying when something happens
    1. a.
      soon, or at a particular time

      I can’t come now. I’m just putting the kids to bed.

      just now:

      We’re just now beginning to understand how much work this project will be.

      just then/at that moment:

      Just then a knock at the door interrupted our conversation.

      be just going/about to do something:

      Mark was just about to leave when someone called him.

      I was just going to ask you the same question.

      just when/as:

      Just when you think it’s all over, something else happens.

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

      Mom just left to go to the grocery store.

      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.

      Synonyms and related words
    3. 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.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    1. a.
      not more than a particular amount, number, distance, etc.

      The medicine costs just a few cents to produce.

      He quit the project after just four months.

      There’s a little bookstore just around the corner.

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

      We’re just a small business with 15 employees.

      It was just a stupid mistake.

    3. 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. 3
    1. a.
      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.

    2. b.
      mainly British used when referring to an exact time
      just on (=at the exact time that you mention):

      We left just on the stroke of midnight.

  4. 4
    used for emphasis spoken
    1. 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 numbers represent?

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

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

      Just look at that dress she’s wearing!

  5. 5
    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 on time if we hurry.

    only just (=by a very small amount):

    He did pass his finals, but only just.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play