[joust, juhst, joost]


a combat in which two knights on horseback attempted to unhorse each other with blunted lances.
this type of combat fought in a highly formalized manner as part of a tournament.
jousts, a tournament.
a personal competition or struggle.

verb (used without object)

to contend in a joust or tournament.
to contend, compete, or struggle: The candidates will joust in a television debate.

Also just.

Origin of joust

1250–1300; (v.) Middle English justen, jousten < Old French juster, joster, jouster to tilt in the lists < Vulgar Latin *juxtāre to approach, clash, derivative of Latin juxtā approaching, bordering; (noun) Middle English juste, jouste < Old French juste, etc., derivative of juster
Related formsjoust·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for jousting

Contemporary Examples of jousting

  • Knights kissed at jousting tournaments and would receive one from the person they protected as thanks for a year of service.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The History of Kissing

    Sheril Kirshenbaum

    February 13, 2011

Historical Examples of jousting

  • But ever when there was any jousting of knights, that would he see if he could.

  • Some she knew were evil men, yet, as knights, were powerful in jousting.

  • He was taught all the arts of war, of riding, jousting, fencing.

  • As it was, all the jousting was done, and most of the nobles had already gone away.

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

  • Robin saw that the jousting was done, and that, after all, the red knights were conquerors.

    Robin Hood

    Paul Creswick

British Dictionary definitions for jousting



a combat between two mounted knights tilting against each other with lances. A tournament consisted of a series of such engagements


(intr; often foll by against or with) to encounter or engage in such a tournamenthe jousted with five opponents
Derived Formsjouster, noun

Word Origin for joust

C13: from Old French jouste, from jouster to fight on horseback, from Vulgar Latin juxtāre (unattested) to come together, from Latin juxtā close
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

Word Origin and History for jousting



c.1300, from Old French joustes, from joster (see joust (v.)). The sport was popular with Anglo-Norman knights.

These early tournaments were very rough affairs, in every sense, quite unlike the chivalrous contests of later days; the rival parties fought in groups, and it was considered not only fair but commendable to hold off until you saw some of your adversaries getting tired and then to join in the attack on them; the object was not to break a lance in the most approved style, but frankly to disable as many opponents as possible for the sake of obtaining their horses, arms, and ransoms. [L.F. Salzman, "English Life in the Middle Ages," Oxford, 1950]



c.1300, "fight with a spear or lance on horseback with another knight; tilt in a tournament," from Old French joster "to joust, tilt," from Vulgar Latin *iuxtare "to approach, come together, meet," originally "be next to," from Latin iuxta "beside, near," related to iungere "join together" (see jugular). Formerly spelled, and until modern times pronounced, "just." Related: Jousted; jousting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper