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 Elia Starkweather works as a janitor in a downtown Minneapolis office tower. James Walsh, Star Tribune, "Minnesota's front-line workers wait their turn for COVID vaccine," 23 Mar. 2021 Gloria Espinoza, 49, was laid off in April from her night-shift janitor job. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. janitors fight for safety as they continue cleaning offices during pandemic," 7 Mar. 2021 The janitor had noticed Kanoute’s Black skin but made no mention of that to the dispatcher. Michael Powell, chicagotribune.com, "Liberal orthodoxy, race and power: How an accusation of racism, and resulting lack of evidence, is riling Smith College," 26 Feb. 2021 Alma Rosa Calvillo, a 58-year-old janitor who works for several South Los Angeles clinics, was reluctant to get the shots. Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times, "Sex, travel, peace of mind. How life is changing for some of the fully vaccinated," 25 Feb. 2021 Evidence continued to mount against Robinson when the janitor of the apartment building identified him. Paula Larsson, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Great Canadian Polio Vaccine Heist of 1959," 24 Feb. 2021 Patrick Kirby works as a janitor at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "California requires companies to protect and test workers exposed to the coronavirus in new rule to curb spread," 20 Nov. 2020 The great exemplar here is Henry Darger (1892-1973), the Chicago janitor who wrote and illustrated an elaborate and grandiose novel centering on the alternately dangerous and pastoral existence of the androgynous Vivian Girls. New York Times, "Photography in the Raw," 4 Feb. 2021 After a five-day trial in 2018, Childress ruled that the school system had failed to exercise reasonable care in hiring Dino Schwertz as a temporary janitor at Abney Elementary School in Slidell. Sara Pagones | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Legal fight continues in civil suit filed by former St. Tammany student raped by janitor," 27 Jan. 2021

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

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Janitor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/janitor. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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)

More from Merriam-Webster on janitor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for janitor

Nglish: Translation of janitor for Spanish Speakers

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