- Word History, Word Explorer
|part of speech:
||someone employed to clean, make minor repairs to, and take care of a building or the like.
The janitor was still trying to fix the radiator in the classroom when students started to arrive.
- similar words:
- caretaker, concierge, super, superintendent
There were janitor
s in ancient Rome, but the word "janitor" meant something different then. It meant "doorkeeper." When it entered the English language in the 1500s, "janitor" still meant "doorkeeper.". Its meaning changed over the next 200 years, and by the 1700s was a word for the caretaker of a building.