'Joint' or 'Join': Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on May 11, 2023

Are you wondering whether ‘joint’ or ‘join’ is correct? The two words are very similar. So, it can be challenging to decide which to use if you do not know what they mean. 

However, I am going to explain the differences to you in this guide so you can choose the correct word. 

Are you in a hurry? 

If so, here is a quick answer: 

  • Joint and join are synonyms.
  • You can use them interchangeably in some cases. 
  • Joint is an adjective, verb, or noun that means something is done with something else. 
  • Join is a noun or verb that means to merge or become part of something. 

That is a brief overview. However, there are several meanings for each word. So, if you want to gain a deeper understanding of these two words and learn when and how to use them, keep reading. This guide has definitions, usage tips, and example sentences.

Definition of ‘Joint’: What Does ‘Joint’ Mean?

Joint’ has different meanings depending on the part of speech. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the noun form means: 

  • The point of contact for two skeletal elements.

It can also mean: 

  • A space between two nodes
  • A place where two things come together
  • A fracture in an unbroken rock
  • A space where two building materials meet
  • The spot on the edge of a book spine where it bends at the cover
  • The point where two or more rails on a track meet
  • Marijuana rolled in a paper
  • A large piece of roasting meat

'Joint' Adjective

You can also use the adjective form of 'joint' defined as:

  • The same as two or more

It can also mean:

  • Affecting two or more people or things
  • Joined or united with something
  • A mathematical function is done with another

'Joint' Verb

Rarely, people use 'joint' as a verb, meaning:

  • To 'join' two things together

Other meanings include:

  • To create a 'joint.'
  • To give something a 'joint.'
  • To grow 'joints.' 
  • To fit together

'Joint' Phrases and Terms

  • Joint partnership
  • Joint venture
  • Joint mission
  • Joint maneuver
  • Joint bank account
  • Blow this joint
  • Your nose is out of joint
  • Hip joint
  • Joint pain

Definition of 'Join': What Does 'Join' Mean?

As mentioned, 'join' can be a verb or noun. However, it is most commonly used in the verb form and means:

  • To put two or more things together to create a whole unit

It can also mean:

  • To form a relationship with something
  • To enter into an alliance
  • To connect with something or someone
  • Associating with someone or something else
  • To enter into an arrangement or agreement
  • To participate in a group activity

'Join' Noun

Less frequently, people use 'join' as a noun meaning:

  • Something that acts as a joint

It can also mean:

  • The point at which something is jointed
  • The site where a weld is

'Join' Phrases and Terms

  • Join in arms
  • Join in marriage
  • Join our team
  • Join the club
  • Join the mission
  • Join our cause
  • Join hands
  • Join minds

Which is Correct, ‘Joint’ or ‘Join?’

I explained that ‘joint’ and ‘join’ are both English words and that you can sometimes use them interchangeably. 

So, how do you know which to use? 

When to Use 'Joint'

Here is a cheat sheet to help you determine when to use 'joint.'

  • Use 'joint' as a noun when you are referring to anatomy.

For example, you might say:

Your ankle joint sustained significant damage in the accident. However, the doctor was able to repair the joint, and you should regain 50 to 80 percent function after 12 to 24 months of physical therapy. 

  • Use 'joint' as a noun to refer to the point where two things meet.

For example, I might say:

The joint is separating in the corner. What will it take to correct that? Do you have to remove both pieces of molding and reposition them, or is there a joint compound you can use to fill in the gap?     

  • Use 'joint' as a verb to ask someone to join two things together or make them meet securely.

For example, a construction site foreman may tell you to:

                    Joint the pieces of crown molding in the corners. 

  • Use 'joint' as a verb to ask someone to create joints.

For example, a craft teacher may say:

                   Your doll is lovely! Just joint it at the elbows and knees, and it will be perfect. 

  • Use 'joint' as an adjective to say that something is shared.

For example, you could use it to say:

                    The joint task force consists of members from several agencies. 

When to Use 'Join'

There are also several meanings for 'join,' so here is a little guide you can follow.

  • Use 'join' as a verb to ask someone to merge two things together.

For example, a recipe may say:

                    After you soften the butter, join it with the dry ingredients. 

  • Use 'join' as a verb to invite someone into your organization or group.

For example, you might get an email from a recruiter saying:

Congratulations! You just received an offer from ABC Corporation asking you to join their world-class organization, and the base salary is 15 percent higher than the salary requirement you indicated. 

  • Use 'join' as a verb to tell indicate that two things need to be secured together.

For example, assembly instructions might say:

                    After you stand the sides up, join them using the enclosed fasteners. 

  • Use 'join' as a verb to ask someone to attend an event.

For example, I might say:

                    Please join us for a magical evening.

  • Use 'join' as a noun to refer to a connection point.

For example, someone might say:

                    The join is very clean! You did an excellent job!

Pronunciation: How Do You Pronounce 'Joint' and 'Join?'

Understanding how to use words is only half of the battle. You need to know how to pronounce them too. Otherwise, you will be hesitant to use hard-to-pronounce terms in conversation or when you have to present information to others.

So, here is a quick pronunciation guide: 

  • Use this phonemic breakdown to pronounce 'joint':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'join':


Example Sentences with 'Joint' or 'Join'

You should have a good understanding of the differences between 'joint' and 'join.' However, take a look at these example sentences to ensure you know how to use them.


  • The joint partnership was extremely successful thanks to their strong bond and excellent communication skills.
  • The police officer found the joint in her purse, and she was taken to jail.
  • Let's blow this joint. There are too many people here, and the service is slow.
  • The joint contributors both received awards for the incredible piece they created.
  • The doctor said my joint damage is significant.


  •  Be cautious about letting anyone join your account, as you are solely responsible for the spending in most cases.
  • Please join us for our semi-annual sale.
  • Do you want to join the team? We only have one spot available.
  • What made you join this admirable cause?
  • How often do you join Mark and Matt to train?

A Recap of When to Use 'Joint' or 'Join'

The truth is when trying to decide if 'joint' or 'join' is appropriate, they may both be okay. However, there are times when the two are not interchangeable. That can be challenging.

So, here is a quick recap. 

  • 'Join' is a verb or noun that means to merge or come together. 
  • 'Joint' is an adjective, verb, and noun meaning shared or connected.
  • You can use the words interchangeably in the noun or verb case.
  • Only 'joint' can be an adjective. 

If these two confusing words ever trip you up in the future, come back for a quick review of this grammar guide.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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