[ jey-nuhs ]
/ ˈdʒeɪ nəs /
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an ancient Roman god of doorways, of beginnings, and of the rising and setting of the sun, usually represented as having one head with two bearded faces back to back, looking in opposite directions.
Astronomy. a moon of the planet Saturn, located just outside the rings.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of Janus

<Latin, special use of jānus doorway, archway, arcade
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Janus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Janus (1 of 2)

/ (ˈdʒeɪnəs) /

the Roman god of doorways, passages, and bridges. In art he is depicted with two heads facing opposite ways

Word Origin for Janus

C16: from Latin, from jānus archway

British Dictionary definitions for Janus (2 of 2)

/ (ˈdʒeɪnəs) /

a small inner satellite of Saturn
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

Cultural definitions for Janus

[ (jay-nuhs) ]

The Roman god of doors and gateways and hence of beginnings.

notes for Janus

Janus was pictured with two faces looking in opposite directions, one young and one old. Consequently, a hypocritical person is often called “Janus-faced.”

notes for Janus

The month of January is named after Janus.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.