joy·​stick | \ˈjȯi-ˌstik \

Definition of joystick 

1 : a lever in an airplane that operates the elevators by a fore-and-aft motion and the ailerons by a side-to-side motion

2 : 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

Examples of joystick in a Sentence

This game works with either a mouse or joystick.

Recent Examples on the Web

In the study, participants learned to use a joystick-like device called a dynamometer to play a videogame. Lisa Ward, WSJ, "The Secret to Retaining a New Skill: Learn, Exercise, Sleep," 16 Sep. 2018 This $99 lap-sized device is truly incomplete on its own, as it's designed from the ground up to require add-on joysticks, buttons, and more. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Xbox Adaptive Controller is now out—and we go hand, foot, fingers, and elbows-on," 6 Sep. 2018 Its work space is bland, harshly lit, and strewn with plywood and circuit boards and sensors and joysticks and cameras. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Unseen Oceans: How the American Museum of Natural History Builds a New Exhibit," 21 June 2018 And teaching a robot to do something new is exhausting, requiring line after line of code and joystick tutorials in say, picking up an apple. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Don't Just Lecture Robots—Make Them Learn," 9 July 2018 Stevie tentatively closed his fist around the red ball of the joystick Saturday and pushed. Tessa Weinberg,, "Northwestern students give 'freedom' by retrofitting motorized cars for kids with disabilities," 1 July 2018 Boat-makers have embraced new technology, from docking a boat with a joystick to creating a wake-surf wave from a wristwatch. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mercury Marine buys Menomonee Falls company in $910 million deal," 29 June 2018 An airman guides the boom with a joystick and a system of seven cameras. Tony Capaccio,, "Boeing's tardy $44.3 billion tanker nears milestone after spat," 20 June 2018 The clean, confusing-looking slab, nearly the length and width of an Xbox One S, has no joysticks. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "In the lab with Xbox’s new Adaptive Controller, which may change gaming forever," 17 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of joystick

1910, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for joystick

perhaps from English slang joystick penis

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Statistics for joystick

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for joystick

The first known use of joystick was in 1910

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More Definitions for joystick



English Language Learners Definition of joystick

: an upright lever used to control an airplane

: a lever used to control the movement of images on the screen in a computer or video game


joy·​stick | \ˈjȯi-ˌstik \

Kids Definition of joystick

: a control lever (as for a computer display or an airplane) capable of motion in two or more directions

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More from Merriam-Webster on joystick

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with joystick

Spanish Central: Translation of joystick

Nglish: Translation of joystick for Spanish Speakers

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