just - definition and synonyms


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  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 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.

    2. 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.

       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 pence to produce.

      He quit the project after just four months.

      There’s a little bookshop just round the corner.

    2. 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.

    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.
      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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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. 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 lines represent?

    2. 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. 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 in time if we hurry.

    only just (=by a very small amount):

    He did pass his final exam – but only just.

See also