from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A place or part at which two or more things are joined.
  • noun A way in which two or more things are joined.
  • noun A point of articulation between two or more bones, especially such a connection that allows motion.
  • noun A point in the exoskeleton of an invertebrate at which movable parts join, as along the leg of an arthropod.
  • noun Botany An articulation on a fruit or stem, such as the node of a grass stem.
  • noun Geology A fracture or crack in a rock mass along which no appreciable movement has occurred.
  • noun A large cut of meat for roasting.
  • noun A cheap or disreputable gathering place.
  • noun A building or dwelling.
  • noun A prison. Often used with the.
  • noun Slang A marijuana cigarette.
  • noun Vulgar Slang A penis.
  • adjective Shared by or common to two or more.
  • adjective Sharing with another or others.
  • adjective Formed or characterized by cooperation or united action.
  • adjective Involving both houses of a legislature.
  • adjective Law Regarded as one, especially with regard to tort liability or interest in property.
  • adjective Mathematics Involving two or more variables.
  • transitive verb To combine or attach with a joint or joints.
  • transitive verb To provide or construct with joints.
  • transitive verb To separate (meat) at the joints.
  • idiom (out of joint) Dislocated, as a bone.
  • idiom (out of joint) Not harmonious; inconsistent.
  • idiom (out of joint) Out of order; inauspicious or unsatisfactory.
  • idiom (out of joint) In bad spirits or humor; out of sorts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In racing or betting slang, an outside book-maker's paraphernalia of list-frame, umbrella, etc., some of which are joined together in movable pieces.
  • noun A pipe-joint in which muslin covered with putty is used for packing.
  • noun A joint between two metal plates, made water-tight by injecting thin putty into the crevices.
  • Joined in relation, action, or interest; having a common share; participating: as, joint owners; joint tenants.
  • Joined in use or participation; held jointly or in common; shared by different individuals: as, joint stock or property; a joint interest in an enterprise.
  • Joined in amount or effect; combined; acting together: as, joint strength; joint efforts; a joint attack.
  • In law: Of contracts, united in interest or liability in such manner that the law will not proceed without joining all, as distinguished from cases where a part may act, or sue or be sued, severally.
  • Of Crimes and torts, combined or connected in the same transaction.
  • noun The place or part in which two things, or parts of one thing, are joined or united; the mode of connection of two things, together with the contiguous parts connected, whether the latter are movable or not; juncture; articulation; hinge.
  • noun Specifically— In anatomy: An articulation.
  • noun A part between two articulations; an internode; one of the pieces which form a jointed organ: as the second joint of the tarsus.
  • noun In botany, same as articulation, 2.
  • noun In architecture, the surface of contact between two bodies that are held firmly together by means of cement or mortar, by a superincumbent weight, or otherwise: as, the joint between two stones.
  • noun In railroading, the place where the ends of two rails meet, or the mode in which they are connected. See fish-joint and fish-plate.
  • noun In carpentry And joinery, the place where or the mode in which one piece of timber is connected with another. Pieces of timber are framed and joined to one another generally by mortises and tenons, of which there are several kinds, or by iron straps and bolts.
  • noun In bookbinding, the flexible cloth or leather which, serving as a hinge, connects the back of a book with its sides.
  • noun The junction of two portions of an electrical conductor, such as a telegraph-wire or cable-core.
  • noun In geology, a crack intersecting a mass of rock.
  • noun One of the large pieces into which a carcass is cut up by the butcher: as, a joint of beef; also, such a piece roasted, or prepared for eating: as, a hot joint; a cold joint.
  • noun A place of meeting or resort for persons engaged in evil and secret practices of any kind: as, a tramps' joint.
  • noun Specifically— Such a place, usually kept by Chinese, for the accommodation of persons addicted to the habit of opium-smoking, and where they are provided with pipes, opium, etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from past participle of joindre, to join; see join.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The Middle English (late 13th century) noun is from Old French joint "joint of the body" (12th century), the English adjective (15th century) from Old French jointiz, both from Latin iunctus, the past participle of iungo. See also join, jugular. The meaning of "building, establishment", especially in connection with shady activities, appears in Anglo-Irish by 1821 and enters general American English slang by 1877, especially in the sense of "opium den". The sense "marijuana cigarette" is attested in 1935.


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  • In book printing, the inner margin of a book's leaves (nearest the spine). Sometimes called a gutter.

    February 22, 2007