American English

Definition of just adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1exactly This jacket is just my size. This gadget is just the thing for getting those nails out. Just my luck (= the sort of bad luck I usually have). The phone's not working. You're just in time. just like… She looks just like her mother. just what… It's just what I wanted! just as… It's just as I thought.
  2. 2just as… at the same moment as The clock struck six just as I arrived.
  3. 3just as good, nice, easily, etc. no less than; equally She's just as smart as her sister. You can get there just as cheaply by plane.
  4. 4(only) just just after, before, under, etc. something by a small amount I got here just after nine. I only just caught the train. Inflation fell to just over 4 percent.
  5. 5used to say that you/someone did something very recently I've just heard the news. When you arrived he had only just left. She has just been telling us about her trip to Rome. I just saw him a moment ago.
  6. 6at this/that moment; now I'm just finishing my book. I was just beginning to enjoy myself when we had to leave.
  7. 7just about/going to do something going to do something only a few moments from now or then The water's just about to boil. I was just going to tell you when you interrupted.
  8. 8simply It was just an ordinary day. Ican't just drop all my commitments. This essay is just not good enough. I didn't mean to upset you.It's just thatI had to tell somebody. This is not just another disaster movie—it's a masterpiece. Just because you're older than me doesn't mean you know everything.
  9. 9(informal) really; completely The food was just wonderful! I can just imagine his reaction.
  10. 10only just (for something) I decided to learn Japanese just for fun. just (to do something) I waited an hour just to see you. There is just one method that might work. “Can I help you?” “No thanks,I'm just looking.” (= in a store)
  11. 11used in orders to get someone's attention, give permission, etc. Just listen to what I'm saying! Just help yourselves!
  12. 12used to make a polite request, excuse, etc. Could you just help me with this box, please? I've just got a few things to do first.
  13. 13could/might/may just used to show a slight possibility that something is true or will happen Try his home number—he might just be there.
  14. 14used to agree with someone “He's very pompous.” “Isn't he just?”
  15. Idioms
    could/might just as well…
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    used to say that you/someone would have been in the same position if you had done something else, because you got little benefit or enjoyment from what you did do The weather was so bad we might just as well have stayed at home.
    (just) in case (…)
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    because of the possibility of something happening You'd better take the keys in case I'm out. You probably won't need to call—but take my number, just in case. In case (= if it is true that) you're wondering why Joe is here—let me explain…
    it is just as well (that…)
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    it is a good thing It is just as well that we didn't leave any later or we'd have missed him.
    I, etc. would just as soon do something
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    used to say that you would equally well like to do something as do something else that has been suggested I'd just as soon stay at home as go out tonight.
      just about (informal)
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    1. 1almost; very nearly I've met just about everyone. “Did you reach your sales target?” “Just about.”
    2. 2approximately She should be arriving just about now.
    just like that
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    suddenly, without warning or explanation
    just a minute/moment/second (informal)
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    used to ask someone to wait for a short time “Is Mr. Burns available?” “Just a second, please, I'll check.”
    1. 1at this moment Come and see me later—I'm busy just now.
    2. 2during this present period Business is good just now.
    3. 3only a short time ago I saw her just now.
    done or arranged very accurately or carefully He liked polishing the furniture and making everything just so. at that moment Just then, someone knocked at the front door.
    not just yet
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    not now but probably quite soon I can't give you the money just yet.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: just