[ jan-i-ter ]
/ ˈdʒæn ɪ tər /


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.

Origin of janitor

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


jan·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. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for janitor

British Dictionary definitions for janitor

/ (ˈdʒænɪtə) /


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 forms of janitor

janitorial (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