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

Once at Pierce County, one of her first changes was to request that maintenance swap her glass door for the janitor’s wooden one. Josephine Peterson, The Seattle Times, "Pierce County Council’s Pam Roach won’t seek reelection," 12 Aug. 2019 After years of tidying up an Earth devoid of humanity, a robot janitor meets a mechanical scout and chases her across the galaxy. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 His mother, Sonia Henriquez, a nighttime janitor, is looking for a second salary, too. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "This 19-year-old wants to become the D.C. Council’s first Latino member," 10 Aug. 2019 Parker plays a Marine veteran, Lincoln Jefferson, a janitor trying to make amends with his son after his divorce. Ariston Anderson, The Hollywood Reporter, "Nate Parker's 'American Skin' Added to Venice Lineup," 7 Aug. 2019 The company will also cut maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as janitors. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Lowe's is laying off thousands of workers," 1 Aug. 2019 Childcare workers are often out-earned by janitors. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "America’s youngest kids need good teachers. Why is it so difficult to find them?," 29 July 2019 The Osaka school massacre Unemployed former janitor Mamoru Takuma, 37, entered an elementary school in Ikeda, Osaka prefecture on June 8, 2001 and began stabbing teachers and students. Amy Gunia, Time, "Japan Is Among the World's Safest Countries, Though It Has a Grisly Record of Mass Violence," 19 July 2019 Working evenings as a janitor for meager wages helped me get through college in the daytime and kept gas in my rust-bucket car. WSJ, "The $15 Minimum Wage and Restaurants," 28 June 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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Statistics for janitor

Last Updated

27 Aug 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

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readily or continually undergoing change

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