- a person employed in an apartment house, office building, school, etc., to clean the public areas, remove garbage, and do minor repairs; caretaker.
- Archaic. a doorkeeper or porter.
verb (used without object)
- to be employed as a janitor.
- Scot, US and Canadian the caretaker of a building, esp a school
- mainly US and Canadian a person employed to clean and maintain a building, esp the public areas in a block of flats or office building; porter
1580s, “an usher in a school,” later “doorkeeper” (1620s), from Latin ianitor “doorkeeper, porter,” from ianua “door, entrance, gate,” from ianus “arched passageway, arcade” (see Janus) + agent suffix -tor. Meaning “caretaker of a building” first recorded 1708.