janitor

[ jan-i-ter ]
/ ˈdʒæn ɪ tər /

noun

a person employed in an apartment house, office building, school, etc., to clean the public areas, remove garbage, and do minor repairs; caretaker.
Archaic. a doorkeeper or porter.

verb (used without object)

to be employed as a janitor.

Nearby words

  1. janina,
  2. janine,
  3. janissaries,
  4. janissary,
  5. janissary music,
  6. janitorial,
  7. janitress,
  8. janizary,
  9. janjaweed,
  10. jankin

Origin of janitor

1575–85; < Latin jānitor doorkeeper, equivalent to jāni- (combining form of jānus doorway, covered passage) + -tor -tor

Related formsjan·i·to·ri·al [jan-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌdʒæn ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectiveun·der·jan·i·tor, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for janitor


British Dictionary definitions for janitor

janitor

/ (ˈdʒænɪtə) /

noun

Scot, US and Canadian the caretaker of a building, esp a school
mainly US and Canadian a person employed to clean and maintain a building, esp the public areas in a block of flats or office building; porter
Derived Formsjanitorial (ˌdʒænɪˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectivejanitress, fem n

Word Origin for janitor

C17: from Latin: doorkeeper, from jānua door, entrance, from jānus covered way (compare Janus 1); related to Latin īre to go

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 janitor

janitor

n.

1580s, "an usher in a school," later "doorkeeper" (1620s), from Latin ianitor "doorkeeper, porter," from ianua "door, entrance, gate," from ianus "arched passageway, arcade" (see Janus) + agent suffix -tor. Meaning "caretaker of a building" first recorded 1708.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper