Meaning of “just” in the English Dictionary

"just" in British English

See all translations


uk /dʒʌst/ us /dʒʌst/

just adverb (NOW)

A2 now, very soon, or very recently:

"Where are you, Jim?" "I'm just coming."
I'll just finish this, then we can go.
He'd just got into the bath when the phone rang.
The children arrived at school just as (= at the same moment as) the bell was ringing.
The doctor will be with you in just a minute/moment/second (= very soon).
It's just after/past (UK also gone) ten o'clock.
just now

A2 a very short time ago:

Who was that at the door just now?

at the present time:

John's in the bath just now - can he call you back?

More examples

  • I went to that new club that's just opened.
  • We've just bought a new rug for the living room.
  • They've just come back from Amsterdam.
  • Hello there - we were just talking about you.
  • I've just tried ringing him but there was no answer.

just adverb (EXACTLY)

B1 exactly or equally:

This carpet would be just right for the dining room.
The twins look just like each other.
Things turned out just as I expected.
You've got just as many toys as your brother.
Thank you, it's just what I've always wanted.
I can't help you just now/yet.
Just then, the lights went out.
I can just imagine Sophie as a police officer.
informal approving That dress is just you (= suits you very well).

More examples

  • Luckily, he had just the right amount of money with him.
  • This paint is just the right colour for my kitchen.
  • He always knows just the right thing to say.
  • It was just the right weather for a marathon.
  • I'm just as upset about it as you are.

just adverb (ONLY)

B1 only; simply:

"Would you like another drink?" "OK, just one more."
It was just a joke.
His daughter's just a baby/just a few weeks old.
We'll just have to (= the only thing we can do is) wait and see what happens.
She lives just down the road (= very near).
Just because you're older than me doesn't mean you can tell me what to do.

B1 used to make a statement or order stronger:

He just won't do as he's told.
It's just too expensive.

used to reduce the force of a statement and to suggest that it is not very important:

Can I just borrow the scissors for a second?
I just wanted to ask you if you're free this afternoon.

More examples

  • We were just chatting about what we did last weekend.
  • We sat in a bar most of the evening just chewing the fat.
  • I'm just chilling out in front of the TV.
  • "What did you talk about?" "Oh, just chit-chat."
  • He's just trying to advance his own career.

just adverb (ALMOST)

B1 almost not or almost:

We arrived at the airport just in time to catch the plane.
This dress (only) just fits.
"Can you see the stage?" "Yes, only just/just about."
I've just about finished painting the living room.
be just possible

If something is just possible, there is a slight chance that it will happen:

It's just possible that we might be going away that weekend.

More examples

  • It's just conceivable that the hospital made a mistake.
  • We just managed to put out the fire.
  • They only just arrived in time.
  • I could only just hear what she was saying.
  • There was just enough food for everyone.

just adverb (VERY)

B1 very; completely:

It's just dreadful what happened to her.

More examples

  • Don't you just adore lying in a hot bath?
  • My wedding day was just the happiest day of my life.
  • I find I just can't communicate with her.
  • Instant coffee just doesn't compare with freshly ground coffee.
  • He had so much pressure on him in his job that eventually he just couldn't cope.


uk /dʒʌst/ us /dʒʌst/


uk /dʒʌst/ us /dʒʌst/

(Definition of “just” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"just" in American English

See all translations

justadverb [ not gradable ]

us /dʒʌst, dʒəst/

just adverb [ not gradable ] (NOW)

now or (almost) at the same time, or very soon, or very recently:

He just left – if you run, you can catch him.
It was just past (= very soon after) midnight.
We got the children off to school just as the bus was about to leave.
We’re just about to begin (= We will begin very soon).
The doctor will see you in just a minute/moment/second (= very soon).

just adverb [ not gradable ] (EXACTLY)


Beth looks just like her mother.
[ + question word ] It was just what I expected.

just adverb [ not gradable ] (ONLY)

only; simply:

I’ll just check my e-mail, then we can go for coffee.
I just called to wish you a happy birthday.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Just can be used to make a statement stronger:

He just won’t listen to me.

just adverb [ not gradable ] (ALMOST)

almost not or almost:

We arrived at the airport just in time to catch the plane.
Matthew weighed just (= slightly) over seven pounds at birth.
"Are you finished yet?" "Just about."

just adverb [ not gradable ] (VERY)

very; completely:

You look just wonderful!
It’s just amazing how powerful the new computers are.


us /dʒʌst/

just adjective (FAIR)

(Definition of “just” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)