\ ˈjəst How to pronounce just (audio) \

Definition of just

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : having a basis in or conforming to fact or reason : reasonable had just reason to believe he was in danger
b : conforming to a standard of correctness : proper just proportions
c archaic : faithful to an original
2a(1) : acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good : righteous a just war
(2) : being what is merited : deserved a just punishment
b : legally correct : lawful just title to an estate


\ ˈjəst How to pronounce just (audio) , ˈjist, ˈjest also without t \

Definition of just (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : exactly, precisely just right
b : very recently the bell just rang
2a : by a very small margin : barely just too late
b : immediately, directly just west of here
3a : only, simply just last year just be yourself
b : quite, very just wonderful
4 : perhaps, possibly it just might work
just about
: almost the work is just about done


\ ˈjəst How to pronounce just (audio) , ˈjüst \

Definition of just (Entry 3 of 3)

archaic variant of

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Other Words from just


justly adverb
justness \ ˈjəs(t)-​nəs How to pronounce justness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for just

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for just


fair, just, equitable, impartial, unbiased, dispassionate, objective mean free from favor toward either or any side. fair implies a proper balance of conflicting interests. a fair decision just implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper. a just settlement of territorial claims equitable implies a less rigorous standard than just and usually suggests equal treatment of all concerned. the equitable distribution of the property impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice. an impartial third party unbiased implies even more strongly an absence of all prejudice. your unbiased opinion dispassionate suggests freedom from the influence of strong feeling and often implies cool or even cold judgment. a dispassionate summation of the facts objective stresses a tendency to view events or persons as apart from oneself and one's own interest or feelings. I can't be objective about my own child

upright, honest, just, conscientious, scrupulous, honorable mean having or showing a strict regard for what is morally right. upright implies a strict adherence to moral principles. a stern and upright minister honest stresses adherence to such virtues as truthfulness, candor, or fairness. known for being honest in business dealings just stresses conscious choice and regular practice of what is right or equitable. workers given just compensation conscientious and scrupulous imply an active moral sense governing all one's actions and painstaking efforts to follow one's conscience. conscientious in the completion of her assignments scrupulous in carrying out the terms of the will honorable suggests a firm holding to codes of right behavior and the guidance of a high sense of honor and duty. a difficult but honorable decision

Examples of just in a Sentence

Adjective a just cause for war The college treated the allegation with just seriousness. They got their just punishment for the crime. Adverb The store has just the tool you need. That's just what I expected. You have to accept me just as I am. This shirt fits just right. She called him a liar and told him he was just like all the other men she'd met. He was just here a minute ago. She had just returned when he entered. I was just going to telephone you! She's just finishing a letter, and she'll be with you shortly. I arrived just in time to see him win.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In the same report, the U.S. Treasury dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator, just days before Washington signed an initial trade agreement with Beijing. Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, "Swiss Franc Gains After Switzerland Is Added to Currency-Manipulator Watch List," 15 Jan. 2020 One was just days after 9/11, sort of declared the global war on terrorism. NBC News, "Transcript: Impeachment and War," 7 Jan. 2020 Later in the night, Billie Eilish was crowned 2019 Woman of the Year, the youngest musician to ever receive the honor, just days ahead of her 18th birthday. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Taylor Swift slams 'toxic male privilege,' Scooter Braun in Billboard Woman of the Decade speech," 13 Dec. 2019 An ongoing lawsuit against Beshear and Coleman — brought by 10 former board members over their abrupt removal — threatens the authority of the new board, just weeks before a critical budget session of the legislature begins. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Andy Beshear's Board of Education forces out Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis," 12 Dec. 2019 Ertel, Florida’s top elections official, resigned in January just weeks into the job after a photo surfaced showing him in blackface, dressed up as a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Washington Post, "Trudeau can look to US politicians amid brownface scandal," 19 Sep. 2019 Tom Brady is making light of two recent injuries, just days ahead of the New England Patriots’ next game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Helen Murphy, PEOPLE.com, "Tom Brady Jokes About Elbow and Toe Injuries: ‘Isn’t There Some HIPAA Violation?’," 6 Dec. 2019 Miami traded away standout, franchise-caliber left tackle Laremy Tunsil, decimating the offensive line just days before the season opener, causing the Dolphins to rely on six different starting units through the first eight games of the season. Safid Deen, sun-sentinel.com, "Kalen Ballage hopes to get into a rhythm, but Dolphins need to address RB in draft," 15 Nov. 2019 The legislation is about more than just land rights, Cromwell said. Pamela Kirkland, CNN, "For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning," 24 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The district is spending $153,200 contract to build the new courts at Nike, which will be located just east of existing tennis courts. Gary Gibula, Naperville Sun, "Naperville answering demand for pickleball with new courts at Nike Complex, Southwest Park," 14 July 2018 Paul Blart: Mall Cop' was just 'Die Hard' with less-cool transportation Bad guys taking over a building with only one law enforcement officer who can save everyone. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "30 pop-culture references that prove 'Die Hard' is as awesome as ever, 30 years later," 13 July 2018 And the insiders who are paying for the trip aren’t going just for the great Chinese food. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "For Mayor Globe-trotter, it's the money that matters," 13 July 2018 The stores have also been a destination for some who visit just for the nostalgia. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s last 2 Blockbuster stores are closing, leaving just one in the U.S.," 13 July 2018 These calls weren’t just for livestock issues, but for all issues pertaining to black vultures. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 Yes, now there's a discussion network just for people who channel their frustrations in life into obsessive workouts. David Pogue, Scientific American, "Megamergers I’d Like to See," 13 July 2018 Shamrock Park is at the corner of Hickory Avenue and Lee Way, just north of Bel Air Town Hall. The Aegis, "Pavilion installed at Shamrock Park, equipment improved," 13 July 2018 His family has a history of concern not just for the church, but for justice. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'just.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of just


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for just

Adjective and Adverb

Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French juste, from Latin justus, from jus right, law; akin to Sanskrit yos welfare

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Time Traveler for just

Time Traveler

The first known use of just was in the 14th century

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Statistics for just

Last Updated

24 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Just.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/just. Accessed 27 January 2020.

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More Definitions for just

How to pronounce just (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of just

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: agreeing with what is considered morally right or good
: treating people in a way that is considered morally right
: reasonable or proper


How to pronounce just (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of just (Entry 2 of 2)

: to an exact degree or in an exact manner
: very recently
: at this or that exact moment or time
\ ˈjəst How to pronounce just (audio) \

Kids Definition of just

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : being what is deserved a just punishment
2 : having a foundation in fact or reason : reasonable a just decision
3 : agreeing with a standard of correctness a just price
4 : morally right or good a just cause a just man

Other Words from just

justly adverb



Kids Definition of just (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to an exact degree or in an exact manner The shirt fits just right. You look just like your father.
2 : very recently She just got here.
3 : by a very small amount : with nothing to spare We just managed to fit in his car.
4 : by a very short distance My best friend lives just east of here.
5 : nothing other than He's just a child.
6 : very entry 1 sense 2 My new job is just wonderful.

Legal Definition of just

: conforming to law or to the underlying principles of law: as
a : conforming to reason or a standard of correctness just sanctions cannot be excessive in relation to the offense
b : conforming with what is deemed fair or good the award of attorney's fees was just the application of this rule retroactively is not just

Other Words from just

justly adverb
justness noun

History and Etymology for just

Latin justus lawful, merited, from jus right, law

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More from Merriam-Webster on just

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for just

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with just

Spanish Central: Translation of just

Nglish: Translation of just for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of just for Arabic Speakers

Comments on just

What made you want to look up just? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that suddenly gains wealth or power

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