Informal. the control stick of an airplane, tank, or other vehicle.
Computers. a lever resembling this, used to control movement of a cursor or other graphic element for video games and computer graphics. Compare mouse ( def 4 ), stylus ( def 3 ).
any leverlike switch for controlling, manipulating, guiding, or the like.
Also, joy stick.

1905–10; joy + stick1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
joystick (ˈdʒɔɪˌstɪk)
1.  informal the control stick of an aircraft or of any of various machines
2.  computing a lever by means of which the display on a screen may be controlled used esp for games, flight simulators, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Computing Dictionary

joystick definition

hardware, games
A device consisting of a hand held stick that pivots about one end and transmits its angle in two dimensions to a computer. Joysticks are often used to control games, and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer. Most I/O interface cards for IBM PCs have a joystick (game control) port.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Her right hand grasped a joystick as she watched a horizontal series of lights
  on a display panel.
The subject has the option to reroute the train using a joystick.
Researchers report that monkeys fed themselves using robotic arms controlled
  mentally-no joystick required.
In the study, the volunteers used a joystick to move a cursor to a target on a
  computer screen.
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