joy·​stick ˈjȯi-ˌstik How to pronounce joystick (audio)
: a lever in an airplane that operates the elevators by a fore-and-aft motion and the ailerons by a side-to-side motion
: a control for any of various devices (such as a computer) that resembles an airplane's joystick especially in being capable of motion in two or more directions

Example Sentences

This game works with either a mouse or joystick.
Recent Examples on the Web Both controllers offer the option to swap out the standard joysticks with taller alternatives. Eric Ravenscraft, WIRED, 27 Feb. 2023 Control is handled via a small Marshall headphones-style joystick on the right earcup, which sits next to a USB-C port but no dedicated 3.5mm port. Jon Porter, The Verge, 11 May 2023 Despite my best efforts, most of my games degenerated into mashing buttons while making half-circle motions with the joystick and waiting for special moves to come out. Vincent Pureza, Ars Technica, 30 Mar. 2023 Walmart, meantime, has a Zelda bundle that includes all of the above, plus a gold Mytrix wireless pro controller, screen protector, cleaning cloth, and four joystick caps for $459 here. Tim Chan, Variety, 8 May 2023 One side of the set has a button and a nub that looks like either a dial (a la Apple’s AirPods Max) or a mini joystick, and the headset can be folded inward toward its cushiony headband. Umar Shakir, The Verge, 8 May 2023 The rotating gearcases and joystick maneuvering system, meanwhile, enable precise docking in tight spaces. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 23 Mar. 2023 In a lab demonstration, for example, researchers guided Garmi to a patient stand-in using joystick controls. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 20 Mar. 2023 It’s got a little joystick that goes along with the steering wheel. Natalie Stone,, 8 Sep. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'joystick.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


perhaps from English slang joystick penis

First Known Use

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of joystick was in 1910

Dictionary Entries Near joystick

Cite this Entry

“Joystick.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


joy·​stick -ˌstik How to pronounce joystick (audio)
: a control lever for a device (as a computer display or an airplane) that allows motion in two or more directions

More from Merriam-Webster on joystick

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