\ 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 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 The senseless murder of George Floyd and resulting civil unrest have threatened the trust citizens have in their government to provide for their health, safety, and welfare in a just and equal manner. Elizabeth Owens-schiele, chicagotribune.com, "Arlington Heights Mayor Hayes uncontested in race for 3rd term: ‘I feel called to help lead ... through this time of unprecedented uncertainty’," 7 Apr. 2021 In fact, by taking the tack that The Serpent does, its creators were able to give a story buried under decades of history and analysis a new and more just life. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "Is The Serpent Based on a True Story?," 2 Apr. 2021 Achieving a green and just economy requires bold thinking about our future destination, instead of reversing to the previous stop. Fortune, "Biden’s infrastructure plan will boost public transit. But we must do more," 30 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb As many as a third of Venezuelans in the once oil-rich nation were eating just one meal a day, according to a 2019 study. Ingrid Cotto, orlandosentinel.com, "Biden protects Venezuelans from deportation, but Florida leaders differ over permanent residency," 8 Apr. 2021 House of Hope is just one of many resources available in the community to help with substance abuse. Marcia Crismond, sun-sentinel.com, "Removing the stigma of addiction could save lives | Opinion," 8 Apr. 2021 When Rudy died in 2004, Elsie started a library in his honor — now, running the library is just one of her duties. BostonGlobe.com, "Move over, Austin: These towns are weirder," 8 Apr. 2021 Even if Franklin returns, Indiana will still have an open scholarship for next season, with just one freshman (Cincinnati Moeller center Logan Duncomb) currently inbound. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Where IU basketball currently stands under Mike Woodson," 8 Apr. 2021 At Beatts’s insistence, the writing staff was initially composed of five women and just one man, Andy Borowitz. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Anne Beatts Was Always More Interesting Than John Hughes," 8 Apr. 2021 The phosphate mining industry around Tampa is just one source of nutrients that can fuel dangerous algae blooms along the coast. Larry Brand, The Conversation, "Water being pumped into Tampa Bay could cause a massive algae bloom, putting fragile manatee and fish habitats at risk," 8 Apr. 2021 Utah scored just one basket in the first five minutes, giving Phoenix time to build a 13-2 lead. David Brandt, Star Tribune, "Booker, Paul lead Suns to 117-113 OT win over Jazz," 8 Apr. 2021 Swap and grind different spices with just one hand. Maren Estrada, BGR, "This one-of-a-kind kitchen gadget is $37 at Amazon – now I can’t cook without it," 8 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

22 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Just.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/just. Accessed 22 Apr. 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

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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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