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

Her parents worked in the service industry, her mother as a janitor and her stepfather as a postal worker. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice," 19 Apr. 2018 And as a result, BART assigned a full-time janitor and attendants to help keep the station’s elevators clean and safe. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "If Oakland wants to keep fighting coal at terminal, it’s going to be expensive," 21 May 2018 Daniel Cornelius Brewington was the eldest of four sons of Joseph C. Brewington, a janitor and caterer, and Mary G. Brewington, a housekeeper. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, "Daniel C. Brewington, veteran Baltimore public schools educator, dies," 15 Mar. 2018 We’ve been introduced to a janitor who then becomes something else. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 So that the daughter of a janitor has a chance to become a public school teacher, which catapulted me into the middle class. Reid J. Epstein, WSJ, "Warren’s Swing Through Iowa Harks Back to Past in an Echo of Trump’s Campaign," 6 Jan. 2019 The Enquirer/Mike Nyerges COVINGTON – Thrifty school janitor Alvin L. Randlett willed his life savings of $175,000 to child abuse victims. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "'It was his last wish': Janitor wills $175K life savings to child abuse victims," 8 May 2018 That monitor entered the other side of the building, and then hid in a janitor's closet when shots rang out, Medina said. CBS News, "Security monitor told police he saw Florida gunman minutes before massacre," 6 June 2018 That monitor entered the other side of the building, and then hid in a janitor's closet when shots rang out, Medina said. Curt Anderson, chicagotribune.com, "Newly released video details the moments before Florida school shooting," 6 June 2018

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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Statistics for janitor

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for janitor

The first known use of janitor was in 1629

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More Definitions for janitor



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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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