• synonyms


or joy stick

  1. Informal. the control stick of an airplane, tank, or other vehicle.
  2. Computers. a lever resembling this, used to control movement of a cursor or other graphic element for video games and computer graphics.Compare mouse(def 4), stylus(def 3).
  3. any leverlike switch for controlling, manipulating, guiding, or the like.
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Origin of joystick

First recorded in 1905–10; joy + stick1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for joystick

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The pilot pushes the joystick slowly forward and prepares to land.

  • For the daring and brilliant youth who held the joystick was a master-pilot, who understood every whim and fancy of his machine.

  • His hand had been jerking the joystick to plus one all this time and now he became consciously aware of this.


    Cory Doctorow

  • Probably he was shot dead and fell over on to the joystick, which put the machine to its last dive.

  • Some one else has produced the latest thing in connections between the pilot's joystick and the Vickers gun.

British Dictionary definitions for joystick


  1. informal the control stick of an aircraft or of any of various machines
  2. computing a lever by means of which the display on a screen may be controlled used esp for games, flight simulators, etc
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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 joystick


also joy stick, 1910, aviators' slang for the control lever of an airplane, from joy + stick (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper