\ˈjȯist \

Definition of joist 

: any of the small timbers or metal beams ranged parallel from wall to wall in a structure to support a floor or ceiling

Illustration of joist

Illustration of joist

J joist

Examples of joist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Cut all the 2 x 6 floor joists to length and set them between the two band joists and on top of the mudsills. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Shed, Colonial-Style," 19 Apr. 2017 In one of them, Christian Bandler, the construction manager for the restaurant’s renovation, stepped carefully across a lattice of thick, wooden joists and beams. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "The Elite Are Locked Out, While ‘21’ Dries Out," 31 Jan. 2018 This is why floor joists are always vertically oriented. 13. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "15 Things My Father Taught Me," 17 June 2016 The entrance to this unit is at the side of the building, up a flight of stairs created from salvaged floor joists. Julie Lasky, New York Times, "$2.3 Million Homes in New York, Florida and Colorado," 11 Apr. 2018 Next, form each front and rear band joist by nailing a 2 x 6 to a 2 x 8 mudsill. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Build a Shed, Colonial-Style," 19 Apr. 2017 The kitchen, which had to be gutted because powderpost beetles had eaten the rafters and joists, feels simultaneously fresh and quaint. Marni Elyse Katz,, "Once a sea captain’s cottage, this Cotuit fixer-upper brings on the charm," 15 June 2018 The straps attaching the floor joists to the cedar piers were then cut, and a hydraulic jack lifted the building onto the trailer. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "When moving day means moving the house," 31 May 2018 Stairs from one of the two dressing rooms lead to the tower with redwood ceiling joists and a Douglas fir floor. Janet Eastman,, "Portland price breaker: Storied mansion sells for $7 million (photos)," 19 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'joist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of joist

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for joist

Middle English giste, joiste, from Anglo-French giste, from Vulgar Latin *jacitum, from Latin jacēre to lie — more at adjacent

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about joist

Dictionary Entries near joist

join up







Statistics for joist

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joist

The first known use of joist was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for joist



English Language Learners Definition of joist

: a strong, heavy board that supports a floor or ceiling


\ˈjȯist \

Kids Definition of joist

: any of the small timbers or metal beams laid crosswise in a building to support a floor or ceiling

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on joist

What made you want to look up joist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!