noun, verb (used without object)

  1. joust.

adjective (dʒʌst)

    1. fair or impartial in action or judgment
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the just
  1. conforming to high moral standards; honest
  2. consistent with justicea just action
  3. rightly applied or given; deserveda just reward
  4. legally valid; lawfula just inheritance
  5. well-founded; reasonablejust criticism
  6. correct, accurate, or truea just account

adverb (dʒʌst, unstressed dʒəst)

  1. used with forms of have to indicate an action performed in the very recent pastI have just closed the door
  2. at this very instanthe’s just coming in to land
  3. no more than; merely; onlyjust an ordinary car
  4. exactly; preciselythat’s just what I mean
  5. by a small margin; barelyhe just got there in time
  6. (intensifier)it’s just wonderful to see you
  7. informal indeed; with a vengeanceisn’t it just
  8. just about
    1. at the point of starting (to do something)
    2. very nearly; almostI’ve just about had enough
  9. just a moment, just a second or just a minute an expression requesting the hearer to wait or pause for a brief period of time
  10. just now
    1. a very short time ago
    2. at this moment
    3. Southern African informalin a little while
  11. just on having reached exactlyit’s just on five o’clock
  12. just so
    1. an expression of complete agreement or of unwillingness to dissent
    2. arranged with precision

“merely, barely,” 1660s, from Middle English sense of “exactly, precisely, punctually” (c.1400), from just (adj.), and paralleling the adverbial use of French juste. Just-so story first attested 1902 in Kipling, from the expression just so “exactly that, in that very way” (1751).


late 14c., “righteous in the eyes of God; upright, equitable, impartial; justifiable, reasonable,” from Old French juste “just, righteous; sincere” (12c.), from Latin iustus “upright, equitable,” from ius “right,” especially “legal right, law,” from Old Latin ious, perhaps literally “sacred formula,” a word peculiar to Latin (not general Italic) that originated in the religious cults, from PIE root *yewes- “law” (cf. Avestan yaozda- “make ritually pure;” see jurist). The more mundane Latin law-word lex covered specific laws as opposed to the body of laws. The noun meaning “righteous person or persons” is from late 14c.

In addition to the idioms beginning with just

  • just about
  • just a minute
  • just as
  • just as soon
  • just deserts
  • just folks
  • just for the record
  • just in case
  • just in time
  • just like that
  • just now
  • just one of those things
  • just so
  • just the same
  • just the ticket
  • just what the doctor ordered

also see:

  • all (just) the same
  • get it (you just don’t)
  • take it (just so much)

Also see underjustice.

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