\ 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 How to pronounce just (audio) \

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 just (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 The path to a more just and equitable Oregon begins with understanding. oregonlive, "In their own words: Oregon activists, politicians react to Derek Chauvin conviction," 21 Apr. 2021 And our goal ultimately is an Afghanistan that finds a just and durable settlement to this conflict that has been going on for four decades. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 4-18-21: Sec. Antony Blinken, Dr. Anthony Fauci & Benjamin Crump," 18 Apr. 2021 Einstein hoped that internationalism, rather, might pave the way for a more just and peaceful world. Dan Falk, Smithsonian Magazine, "One Hundred Years Ago, Einstein Was Given a Hero’s Welcome by America’s Jews," 2 Apr. 2021 There were five parts to the original bill, and it got whittled down to two – but the original bill was trying to chart out what a just transition would look like, because that plan doesn’t exist right now. Wen Stephenson, The Christian Science Monitor, "This woman bridges climate change divides, one Maine voter at a time," 15 Apr. 2021 Deportations, a domestic war on terror, widespread biometric surveillance, punitive anti-refugee measures, military gear for police—these aren’t the way toward a more just society. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, "Biden’s Homeland Security Is Just as Bad as Trump’s," 13 Apr. 2021 His leadership on racial justice issues brought together everyone committed to a more just and equitable society. ... Anthony Man, sun-sentinel.com, "Friends, colleagues remember the late U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings as ‘one of a kind human being’," 6 Apr. 2021 PeaceTech Lab will present the International Peace Honors celebration Sunday night to unite and honor leaders and change agents working toward a more just and equitable future. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "How to Watch the International Peace Honors With Ricky Martin, Sting & More," 17 Jan. 2021 Kroll's retirement from the Minneapolis Police Department and his leadership role in the police union is great news as Minneapolis seeks to move forward with a more just and equitable approach to law enforcement. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Bob Kroll's departure, 'gaslighting' at the Legislature, Capitol insurrection," 12 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The ‘May gray’ clouds that extended from the coast to the mountains Sunday in San Diego County will be mostly gone by early Monday, just as another spell of unseasonally warm weather is about to begin. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "The ‘May gray’ is about to go away in greater San Diego," 2 May 2021 The White House has justified the pricey spending plans as not just being a stimulus because of the pandemic but as measures to boost long-term productive capacity. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "Some worried Biden spending spree overkill as economy beats expectations," 2 May 2021 In February, Major League Baseball proposed pushing the season back by a month because of what at the time were worrisome rates of COVID-19 in Arizona and Florida just as spring training was about to start. BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox took advantage of a traditional spring training," 2 May 2021 But much of it is Arnold — the only person in the state’s 170-year history to become governor in a recall — just being Arnold. New York Times, "Arnold Schwarzenegger Is No Longer the Governor of California. Right?," 1 May 2021 Other people may just be uncomfortable with the seeming speed at which the vaccines were developed. Los Angeles Times, "California’s secret weapon in COVID-19 success: We are not skeptical about the vaccine," 1 May 2021 Our job, though, is not just to report what the politicians say. cleveland, "Just the facts? If only it were that simple: Letter from the Editor," 1 May 2021 Trail etiquette is not just being courteous to other users and not littering. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "Who yields on a trail? Should you wear a mask? Arizona hiking etiquette questions answered," 30 Apr. 2021 Every person in Cincinnati matters, and our measure of success cannot just be how the wealthiest are doing. Andrea Reeves, The Enquirer, "Aftab Pureval: 'Make sure prosperity is shared in every corner of our city'," 30 Apr. 2021

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

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Just.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/just. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for just



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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on just

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for just

Nglish: Translation of just for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of just for Arabic Speakers

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