jan·​i·​tor | \ ˈja-nə-tər How to pronounce janitor (audio) \

Definition of janitor

1 : one who keeps the premises of a building (such as an apartment or office) clean, tends the heating system, and makes minor repairs

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Examples of janitor in a Sentence

got a job as the night janitor at the elementary school according to popular Christian tradition, St. Peter acts as janitor at heaven's pearly gates
Recent Examples on the Web Policymakers want to broaden electric car ownership to teachers, house cleaners and janitors. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "Driving a Tesla in the carpool lane: No longer just a perk for the rich," 31 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, Garrett and Morris pose as chauffeur and janitor as the business grows. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, "Explaining the controversy over ‘The Banker,’ the big Apple TV Plus movie that has been delayed," 26 Nov. 2019 Most rally participants were not security guards, but rather janitors or others who already belong to the SEIU. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "Downtown Detroit security guards got a raise, don't need to unionize, contractor says," 19 Nov. 2019 The catacombs, long abused as a temporary home for vagrants and even as a handy storage space for the church’s janitors, had been cleaned up some, but still were in rough shape. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Tours of Baltimore’s Westminster catacombs are creepy now, but not like tours in the ’70s," 31 Oct. 2019 Last year, Walmart contracted to deploy 360 in-store autonomous floor cleaners — or robot janitors — using Brain Corp.’s operating system. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Brain Corp., maker of robot janitors for Walmart, moving into European market," 1 July 2019 Among those who marched through the city's financial center before the protest grew violent was 56-year-old Juan de Dios del Valle, a government worker who was laid off in 2008 and has since found only occasional jobs as a gardener or janitor. Danica Coto, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Protest in Puerto Rico turns violent as thousands march against austerity measures," 1 May 2018 Mr Reyna, recruited by the defence team in 1985, eventually found two white janitors who had been present when the murder happened. The Economist, "The sleuth of death row What does it take to become a death-row detective?," 18 Dec. 2019 People come up to me and talk about chilling out with See Spot Run in the slow reading group, or hanging out with a janitor in the hallway. Mark Armstrong, Longreads, "Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences," 18 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'janitor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of janitor

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for janitor

Latin, from janus arch, gate

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Time Traveler for janitor

Time Traveler

The first known use of janitor was in 1629

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Statistics for janitor

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Janitor.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/janitor. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for janitor


How to pronounce janitor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of janitor

chiefly US : a person who cleans a building and makes minor repairs


jan·​i·​tor | \ ˈjan-ət-ər How to pronounce janitor (audio) \

Kids Definition of janitor

: a person who takes care of a building (as a school)

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More from Merriam-Webster on janitor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for janitor

Spanish Central: Translation of janitor

Nglish: Translation of janitor for Spanish Speakers

Comments on janitor

What made you want to look up janitor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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