just a second

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just a second (uncountable)

  1. (literally) Only one second; a passage of time one-sixtieth of a minute in duration.
  2. (idiomatic) A short period of time, typically anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes or more.
    • 1853, C. Routledge, Oakmote Hall: or, The adventures of Joe Rattler: with the extraordinary ...[1], page 406:
      And so it proved with our wise couple; for, unfortunately, just a second before they arrived, Mr. Sharpwrit, and his lady, were sat down to dinner, ...


just a second

  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.
    • 1860, Eneas Sweetland Dallas, Once a week, Volume 3[2], page 366:
      "...hang it! Just outside the room — just a second! or up in a corner will do."