v. joined, join·ing, joins
1. To put or bring together so as to make continuous or form a unit: join two boards with nails; joined hands in a circle.
2. To put or bring into close association or relationship: two families that were joined by marriage; join forces.
3. To connect (points), as with a straight line.
4. To meet and merge with: where the creek joins the river.
5. To become a part or member of: joined the photography club.
6. To come into the company of: joined the group in the waiting room.
7. To participate with in an act or activity: The committee joins me in welcoming you.
8. To adjoin: where the garage joins the house.
9. To engage in; enter into: Opposing armies joined battle on the plain.
1. To come together so as to form a connection: where the two bones join.
2. To act together; form an alliance: The two factions joined to oppose the measure.
3. To become a member of a group.
4. To take part; participate: joined in the search.
A joint; a junction.
[Middle English joinen, from Old French joindre, joign-, join-, from Latin iungere; see yeug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: join, combine, unite, link1, connect
These verbs mean to fasten or affix or become fastened or affixed. Join applies to the physical contact or union of at least two separate things and to the coming together of persons, as into a group: The children joined hands. The two groups joined together to support the bill. "Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work" (Susan B. Anthony).
Combine suggests the mixing or merging of components, often for a specific purpose: The cook combined various ingredients. The schools combined to make more efficient use of resources. Unite stresses the coherence or oneness of the persons or things joined: The volunteers united to prevent their town from flooding. The strike united the oppressed workers. Link and connect imply a firm attachment in which the individual components remain distinct: The study linked the high crime rate to unemployment. The reporter connected the police chief to the scandal.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.