Definition of janitor in English:



North American
  • A caretaker or doorkeeper of a building.

    • ‘Over the next decade he earned barely £200 from his music and was forced to work as a welder and hotel janitor.’
    • ‘They took jobs with low pay and little advancement potential, working as busboys, waiters, gardeners, janitors, and domestic help in cities.’
    • ‘The education system remained functioning but without the assistance of school secretaries, janitors, laboratory workers and other administrative employees.’
    • ‘That was the toughest time in my life, when I was living with a family and we had to get a job together, so the entire family were janitors and security guards.’
    • ‘The main effect was widespread closure of schools because there were no janitors, lollipop men, cleaners or dinner ladies to maintain the legal requirements on health and safety, among other things.’
    • ‘Back at the office, janitor Jason Aaron was taking care of some lighting repair.’
    • ‘Fitzgerald himself worked as a janitor and doorman to help pay for college and Harvard Law School.’
    • ‘Instead of janitors or custodians, Japanese schools had the students clean up the classrooms at the end of the day.’
    • ‘The New York contract, covering 33,000 janitors, doormen, elevator operators and other maintenance workers, expires on April 21.’
    • ‘Out of the corners come the shadowy shapes of the janitors, to sweep the pamphlets, trinkets, and candy wrappers from the floors and tables of the rapidly emptying room.’
    caretaker, custodian, porter, concierge, doorkeeper, doorman, steward, warden, watchman
    View synonyms


Mid 16th century: from Latin, from janua ‘door’.