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[joist] /dʒɔɪst/
any of a number of small, parallel beams of timber, steel, reinforced concrete, etc., for supporting floors, ceilings, or the like.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with or fix on joists.
Origin of joist
1325-75; Middle English giste < Old French < Latin *jacitum support, noun use of neuter of Latin jacitus (past participle of jacēre to lie), equivalent to jaci- variant stem + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
joistless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for joist
Historical Examples
  • He put his knee against it and shoved, but the joist held firm.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • Fitz moved, joist in hand, towards the other side of the clump.

    Fitz the Filibuster George Manville Fenn
  • A joist was found on one end, driven nearly three feet into the ground.

  • No man, other than a union carpenter, would be allowed to even set a joist.

    30,000 Locked Out. James C. Beeks
  • A roar of applause shook every board and joist of the building.

  • I left him, father, but I tied him to a joist in the ceiling with a long rope.

    Old Kaskaskia Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • The house was so shaken that it gave way at every joist, and he was within an ace of dragging the whole grange over on end.

    Tales from the Fjeld P. Chr. Asbjrnsen
  • She had caught sight of one of my feet underneath the joist that served as a wedge to keep the cask in place.

    The Dean's Watch Erckmann-Chatrian
  • Two small forks or bucks-horns fastened to a joist are indispensable articles for the support of the rifle.

  • Fumbling about this, Wilson discovered in the corner several pieces of joist, and these he propped against the door.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett
British Dictionary definitions for joist


a beam made of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete, used in the construction of floors, roofs, etc See also rolled-steel joist
(transitive) to construct (a floor, roof, etc) with joists
Word Origin
C14: from Old French giste beam supporting a bridge, from Vulgar Latin jacitum (unattested) support, from jacēre to lie
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for joist

early 14c. (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French giste "beam supporting a bridge" (Modern French gîte), noun use of fem. past participle of gesir "to lie," from Latin iacere "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Notion is of wooden beam on which boards "lie down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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