[ kuhm-puh-nee ]
See synonyms for: companycompaniedcompaniescompanying on

noun,plural com·pa·nies.
  1. a number of individuals assembled or associated together; group of people.

  2. a guest or guests: We're having company for dinner.

  1. an assemblage of persons for social purposes.

  2. companionship; fellowship; association: I always enjoy her company.

  3. one's usual companions: I don't like the company he keeps.

  4. society collectively.

  5. a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action, especially for business: a publishing company;a dance company.

  6. (initial capital letter) the members of a firm not specifically named in the firm's title: George Higgins and Company.

  7. Military.

    • the smallest body of troops, consisting of a headquarters and two or three platoons.

    • any relatively small group of soldiers.

    • Army. a basic unit with both tactical and administrative functions.

  8. a unit of firefighters, including their special apparatus: a hook-and-ladder company.

  9. Also called ship's company. a ship's crew, including the officers.

  10. a medieval trade guild.

  11. the Company, Informal. a nation's major intelligence-gathering and espionage organization, as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

verb (used without object),com·pa·nied, com·pa·ny·ing.
  1. Archaic. to associate.

verb (used with object),com·pa·nied, com·pa·ny·ing.
  1. Archaic. to accompany.

Idioms about company

  1. keep company,

    • to associate with; be a friend of.

    • Informal. to go together, as in courtship: My sister has been keeping company with a young lawyer.

  2. part company,

    • to cease association or friendship with: We parted company 20 years ago after the argument.

    • to take a different or opposite view; differ: He parted company with his father on politics.

    • to separate: We parted company at the airport.

Origin of company

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English, from Anglo-French; Old French compaignie “companionship,” equivalent to compain (from Late Latin compāniō; see companion1) + -ie -y3

synonym study For company

1. Company, band, party, troop refer to a group of people formally or informally associated. Company is the general word and means any group of people: a company of motorists. Band, used especially of a band of musicians, suggests a relatively small group pursuing the same purpose or sharing a common fate: a concert by a band; a band of survivors. Party, except when used of a political group, usually implies an indefinite and temporary assemblage, as for some common pursuit: a spelunking party. Troop, used specifically of a body of cavalry, usually implies a number of individuals organized as a unit: a troop of cavalry.

Other words for company

Other words from company

  • com·pa·ny·less, adjective
  • in·ter·com·pa·ny, adjective

Words Nearby company Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use company in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for company


/ (ˈkʌmpənɪ) /

nounplural -nies
  1. a number of people gathered together; assembly

  2. the fact of being with someone; companionship: I enjoy her company

  1. a social visitor or visitors; guest or guests

  2. a business enterprise

  3. the members of an enterprise not specifically mentioned in the enterprise's title: Abbreviation: Co, co

  4. a group of actors, usually including business and technical personnel

  5. a unit of around 100 troops, usually comprising two or more platoons

  6. the officers and crew of a ship

  7. a unit of Girl Guides

  8. English history a medieval guild

  9. keep company or bear company

    • to accompany (someone)

    • (esp of lovers) to associate with each other; spend time together

  10. part company

    • to end a friendship or association, esp as a result of a quarrel; separate

    • (foll by with) to leave; go away (from); be separated (from)

verb-nies, -nying or -nied
  1. archaic to keep company or associate (with someone)

Origin of company

C13: from Old French compaignie, from compain companion, fellow, from Late Latin compāniō; see companion 1

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with company


In addition to the idioms beginning with company

  • company man
  • company manners

also see:

  • keep someone company
  • misery loves company
  • part company
  • two's company

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.