jan·​i·​tor ˈja-nə-tər How to pronounce janitor (audio)
: one who keeps the premises of a building (such as an apartment or office) clean, tends the heating system, and makes minor repairs

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 Flores, a nursing student, relies on his wife’s income and occasional odd jobs as a bricklayer or janitor to pay the rent and support an infant. David Feliba, Washington Post, 19 Nov. 2023 Advertisement As a labor organizer, Butler worked to better the lives of nurses in Baltimore and Milwaukee, janitors in Philadelphia and hospital workers in New Haven, Conn. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2023 And then beyond that, even others in labor, the AFL-CIO and the hotel workers and janitors, strippers, everybody. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Sep. 2023 Tetiana, a former janitor, does not want to burden her children, who live near Kyiv. Serhii Korolchuk, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2023 The moment served as a highly appropriate visual for the state of labor in Los Angeles, where hotel workers are on strike, janitors are marching to demand employer accountability and even Hollywood writers are picketing. Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, 27 Oct. 2023 Trash could pile up in the federal parks outside the White House, Capitol Hill and other federal buildings, where janitors working for hourly wages under federal contracts will be sent home without pay. Anne Flaherty, ABC News, 29 Sep. 2023 An unknown number of federal contractors, including janitors, cafeteria workers and security guards, could also be out of work. Anne Flaherty, ABC News, 5 Oct. 2023 Read full article The protest’s timing also aimed to draw attention to a contract between commercial building owners and 12,000 janitors who clean workplaces in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, which is due to expire Nov. 15, according to the union. John Hilliard, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'janitor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, from janus arch, gate

First Known Use

1629, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of janitor was in 1629

Dictionary Entries Near janitor

Cite this Entry

“Janitor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/janitor. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


jan·​i·​tor ˈjan-ət-ər How to pronounce janitor (audio)
: a person who has the care of a building
janitorial adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on janitor

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