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[joist] /dʒɔɪst/
any of a number of small, parallel beams of timber, steel, reinforced concrete, etc., for supporting floors, ceilings, or the like.
verb (used with object)
to furnish with or fix on joists.
Origin of joist
1325-75; Middle English giste < Old French < Latin *jacitum support, noun use of neuter of Latin jacitus (past participle of jacēre to lie), equivalent to jaci- variant stem + -tus past participle suffix
Related forms
joistless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for joist
  • It should extend vertically through the subfloor and cross a joist or some other support to which it is bolted.
  • He took a comb from its niche behind a joist and gave her old coat a rubbing.
  • It is nailed or screwed to the subfloor and joist and driven horizontally with a punch or nail set.
  • The box must be attached directly to a ceiling joist, and anchored firmly so that the box cannot twist or pull loose.
  • Insulate the band joist with batt insulation, as well as the crawl space access if it's located in the wall.
  • When the bar joist was placed into position between two joists already in place, it was not quite straight.
  • Anchored bridging means that the steel joist bridging is connected to a bridging terminus point.
  • Insulate the band joist with batt insulation, and the crawlspace access if it is located in the wall.
  • joist resting directly on the foundation sill plate.
  • joist hangers must be correct size for joist size used.
British Dictionary definitions for joist


a beam made of timber, steel, or reinforced concrete, used in the construction of floors, roofs, etc See also rolled-steel joist
(transitive) to construct (a floor, roof, etc) with joists
Word Origin
C14: from Old French giste beam supporting a bridge, from Vulgar Latin jacitum (unattested) support, from jacēre to lie
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
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Word Origin and History for joist

early 14c. (late 13c. in Anglo-Latin), from Old French giste "beam supporting a bridge" (Modern French gîte), noun use of fem. past participle of gesir "to lie," from Latin iacere "to lie, rest," related to iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Notion is of wooden beam on which boards "lie down."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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