follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

janitor

[jan-i-ter] /ˈdʒæn ɪ tər/
noun
1.
a person employed in an apartment house, office building, school, etc., to clean the public areas, remove garbage, and do minor repairs; caretaker.
2.
Archaic. a doorkeeper or porter.
verb (used without object)
3.
to be employed as a janitor.
Origin
1575-1585
1575-85; < Latin jānitor doorkeeper, equivalent to jāni- (combining form of jānus doorway, covered passage) + -tor -tor
Related forms
janitorial
[jan-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /ˌdʒæn ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
underjanitor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for janitors

janitor

/ˈdʒænɪtə/
noun
1.
(Scot & US, Canadian) the caretaker of a building, esp a school
2.
(mainly US & Canadian) a person employed to clean and maintain a building, esp the public areas in a block of flats or office building; porter
Derived Forms
janitorial (ˌdʒænɪˈtɔːrɪəl) adjective
janitress, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: doorkeeper, from jānua door, entrance, from jānus covered way (compare Janus1); related to Latin īre to go
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for janitors

janitor

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for janitor

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for janitors

15
18
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for janitors