1. [17C; mid-19C; 1930s+] (US) the penis.
2. a man or woman.
(a) [late 19C–1900s] a wife.
(b) [late 19C–1950s] a person, a fellow, a ‘chap’.
(c) [1990s+] (US black/gay) a feminine male homosexual partner.
3. a place [according to the OED the orig. use applied spec. to Chinese-run opium dens and thence to illicit saloons; in both cases the joint was seen as a gathering place for criminals, a low-life nuance that remains with the word, even in its more general sl. use].
(a) [late 19C–1950s] (US drugs, also pipe joint) an opium den.
(b) [late 19C+] (orig. US) any place, esp. a bar or club, a brothel, a gambling establishment, a restaurant.
(c) [20C+] (orig. US tramp) a meeting place.
(d) [1910s] (Aus.) a firm.
(e) [1910s] a factory.
(f) [1910s] (Aus.) a public-house bar.
(g) [1910s+] one’s house or home.
(h) [1910s+] a country, geographical area, a town, a city.
(i) [late 19C+] (Aus./US carnival) any ‘sideshow’ devoted to gambling.
(j) [late 19C+] (US) prison, also as the joint.
(k) [1960s] (US) a police station.
(l) [1980s] (US) a detoxification facility.
(m) [1990s+] in fig. use; of any kind of object or place; often unspecified.
4. in Und. uses.
(a) [late 19C+] a swindling set-up or a place to be robbed; thus operator of such a place (see cite 1919).
(b) [1900s-10s] (Aus. Und.) a situation, usu. corrupt or swindling.
(c) [1940s] (US Und., also top of the joint) the total amount taken in a single confidence trick.
5. (orig. US) in drug uses.
(a) [1930s+] an opium pipe or hypodermic syringe and other drug paraphernalia [the ‘joining’ of the opium and its pipe].
(b) [1950s] a cigarette laced with paregoric.
(c) [1950s+] a marijuana or hashish cigarette [the ‘joining’ of the drug with tobacco to make the cigarette; by the 1990s the drug reference had become sufficiently common for the word to be used almost without comment or identifying quotation marks].
(d) [1990s+] marijuana.
6. [1940s+] (US) a gun.
7. [1970s+] (orig. US black) something excellent, as in the phr. the serious joint, the real thing.
8. [1980s+] (orig. US black) an artistic creation, typically a record or film [popularized by film-maker Spike Lee (b.1956) who credits his films ‘Another Spike Lee Joint’; subseq. used by many hip-hop/rap artists to describe their music].
9. [2000s] (US black/prison) a prison sentence.
[1930s–50s] (US prison) well-adjusted to prison life, capable of sustaining one’s existence in prison .
[1920s+] (Can./US prison) any prisoner who toadies to the authorities.
[1950s] (US Und.) the clothes worn by a whore in a brothel .
[1950s] (US) everywhere.
[1920s] (US black/Harlem) any black nightclub catering spec. to white ‘tourists’.
[1950s+] (drugs) to smoke marijuana.
[1970s+] (US teen) to look over a place, to check its amenities.
[1950s–70s] (drugs) to smoke a cannabis cigarette.
[late 19C] to smoke an opium pipe.
see daffy house under daffy adj.
[1960s+] (drugs) to smoke marijuana.
[late 19C–1930s] (US) to come to the point, to achieve one’s aim, esp. in a criminal context.
[1970s] of a woman, to have a man sexually enslaved.
[1920s–60s] (US tramp) somewhere that is robbed while the owners are in occupation.
[1910s–50s] (Aus.) to take command.
see sense 3a above.
[1970s] to whine, to complain.
[1950s] (US Und.) any nightspot frequented by criminals, spec. pimps and prostitutes.
[1930s–50s] (US drugs) to prepare the equipment for smoking opium.
[1940s] (US) to have an erect penis.
see sense 4c above.