[kuh-stoh-dee-uh n]


a person who has custody; keeper; guardian.
a person entrusted with guarding or maintaining a property; janitor.

Origin of custodian

1775–85; < Latin custōdi(a) watchman (see custody) + -an
Related formscus·to·di·an·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for custodian

Contemporary Examples of custodian

Historical Examples of custodian

  • It was a new thing for him to be the custodian of so much treasure.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Dick turned, and followed his custodian out of the office in silence.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • This child was the daughter of some custodian of the demesne before me.

  • It was Pete Ellinwood, the fire marshal of the village and custodian of the apparatus.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • “No,” cried my custodian, pushing me forward with the butt-end of his gun.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for custodian



a person who has custody, as of a prisoner, ward, etc
a guardian or keeper, as of an art collection, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for custodian

1781, from custody (Latin custodia) + -an. As "janitor," by 1944, American English, short for custodian-janitor (by 1899).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper