just a minute

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just a minute (uncountable)

  1. (literally) Only one minute; a passage of time 60 seconds in duration.
  2. (idiomatic) A short period of time, typically anywhere from several seconds to several minutes or more.
    • 1807, Charles Sedley, The barouche driver and his wife[1], page 6:
      The hero of the turf accepted this bet, and on the day appointed, just a minute before starting, qualified his stallion to run for the purse.


just a minute

  1. (idiomatic) Stop; wait. Used to indicate that the speaker wishes the previous speaker or the proceedings to stop so that he or she can comment on what has been said or has happened so far.
    • 1827, John Galt, The last of the lairds: or, The life and opinions of Malachi Mailings ...[2], page 221:
      Miss Girzie at these words started up, and said, "Sir, sir, just a minute."
      "I can hear no more," cried I; "it is plain you intend to make a bargain with my friend...