Definition of joust in English:



[no object]
  • 1often as noun joustinghistorical (of a medieval knight) engage in a sporting contest in which two opponents on horseback fight with lances.

    ‘to joust, a man must have an opponent to ride against’
    ‘jousting goes back to medieval days’
    • ‘Joan is hanging about with Antigone, and Arthur and Lance are jousting.’
    • ‘We do all the medieval arts like jousting and sparring, things of that nature.’
    • ‘This is a less aggressive mix than you might expect for a movie about knights and jousting.’
    • ‘There is a medieval theme and entertainment including knights, jousting and brass bands.’
    • ‘The two of them flew towards each other at breakneck speeds, like knights jousting.’
    enter the lists, tourney, tilt, break a lance
    View synonyms
  • 2Compete closely for superiority.

    ‘the guerrillas jousted for supremacy’
    • ‘Last season on Sunday, that afternoon's stories jousted for the public's attention with that afternoon's draw.’


  • A medieval sporting contest in which two opponents on horseback fought with lances.

    ‘the king and the young knights at court passed their time in jousts, tournaments, and the chase’
    • ‘Another blare of trumpets called the attention of the spectators, announcing that the first round of the joust would commence.’
    • ‘The ancient epic had its counterpart in athletic contests just as the medieval romance had its counterpart in jousts and tournaments between knights.’
    • ‘It speaks of jousts, tournaments, wizards, falconry, enchantresses, damsels in distress, wars, quests, and the code of chivalry.’
    • ‘Along with their other accessories, the warriors' elaborate dress suggests that they brought both wealth and pageantry to combat, which Donnan likens to medieval jousts.’
    • ‘Anne was once more pregnant but at the end of the month, alarmed by news of Henry's heavy fall at a joust, she gave premature birth to a dead son.’
    tournament, tourney, tilt, the lists
    View synonyms


Middle English (originally in the sense ‘join battle, engage’): from Old French jouster ‘bring together’, based on Latin juxta ‘near’.