noun, often attributive
com·​pa·​ny | \ ˈkəmp-nē How to pronounce company (audio) , ˈkəm-pə- \
plural companies

Definition of company

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : association with another : fellowship enjoy a person's company
b : companions, associates know a person by the company she keeps
c : visitors, guests having company for dinner
2a : a group of persons or things a company of horsemen
b : a body of soldiers especially : a unit (as of infantry) consisting usually of a headquarters and two or more platoons
c : an organization of performing artists a company of actors
d : the officers and crew of a ship The captain called a meeting of the ship's company.
e : a firefighting unit A hose company was first to arrive at the scene of the fire.
3a : a chartered commercial organization or medieval trade guild
b : an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise electric companies a publishing company
c : those members of a partnership firm whose names do not appear in the firm name John Doe and Company


companied; companying

Definition of company (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: accompany … may … fair winds company your safe return.— John Masefield

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Examples of company in a Sentence

Noun He runs his own trucking company. She joined the company last year. The company is based in Paris. Her dogs are her only company these days. You can tell a lot about people by the company they keep. Verb in her sermon the minister noted that Jesus had companied with the least privileged and most disadvantaged members of society may the Good Lord company you on your journey home
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Don't remember the company, maybe Hallmark, those greeting cards., "It’s All Love For YOU Star & First-Time Author Jenna Ortega," 12 Jan. 2021 The drivers, who move new minivans from Fiat Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant, were replaced by a new group after FCA awarded the contract to a new company, Motipark, prompting the blockade. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Blockade removed at Chrysler Pacifica plant; Unifor-represented drivers back on job," 12 Jan. 2021 One pro-free speech social media company, Parler, has seen a spike in downloads since the presidential election and even became Apple’s most popular app. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Tech-finance company cuts ties with Trump campaign after Capitol siege," 11 Jan. 2021 The company’s chief engineering officer, Murthy Renduchintala, left last summer. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Mobileye Puts Lidar on a Chip—and Helps Map Intel's Future," 11 Jan. 2021 The company, which also has divisions that focus on sponsorships, merchandise and technology, counts Real Madrid, SoFi Stadium, the University of Notre Dame, the Los Angeles Clippers and Live Nation Entertainment Inc. among its partners. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Sixth Street Partners Nears Deal for Majority Stake in Legends Hospitality Group," 11 Jan. 2021 Hart’s company, HartBeat Productions, will also have a first-look film producing deal with Netflix as part of the deal. Megh Wright, Vulture, "Kevin Hart Gets a Massive Adam Sandler–Style Netflix Deal," 11 Jan. 2021 Red Lion Hotel Redding, part of the North America hospitality company, Red Lion Hotels Corporation, is a popular destination for travelers looking to explore the area around Redding, California. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "This Affordable Hotel in California Will Let You Test Drive a Tesla," 10 Jan. 2021 Gab later came back online with the help of a Seattle company, Epik, which hosts other far-right websites. New York Times, "How Parler, a Chosen App of Trump Fans, Became a Test of Free Speech," 10 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'company.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of company


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for company

Noun and Verb

Middle English companie, from cumpaignie, from cumpaing companion — more at companion

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Time Traveler for company

Time Traveler

The first known use of company was in the 13th century

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Statistics for company

Last Updated

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Company.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for company


How to pronounce company (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of company

: a business organization that makes, buys, or sells goods or provides services in exchange for money
: the state or condition of being with another person
: someone or something you spend time with or enjoy being with


com·​pa·​ny | \ ˈkəm-pə-nē How to pronounce company (audio) , ˈkəmp-nē \
plural companies

Kids Definition of company

1 : an association of persons operating a business
2 : the presence of someone who brings comfort I enjoy your company.
3 : a person or thing someone enjoys being with She's good company.
4 : a person's companions or associates You are known by the company you keep.
5 : guests or visitors especially at a person's home We have company.
6 : a group of persons or things Then the hurrying water … swept all the company of casks and tubs away …— J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
7 : a body of soldiers
8 : a band of musical or dramatic performers an opera company


plural companies

Legal Definition of company

: an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise — compare corporation, partnership
finance company
: a company that makes usually small short-term loans to individuals
growth company
: a company that grows at a greater rate than the economy as a whole and that usually directs a relatively high proportion of income back into the business
holding company
: a company whose sole function is to own and control other companies
investment company
: a company that earns income solely or primarily by holding and investing in securities issued by other companies or by government agencies
joint-stock company
: a business organization whose capital is represented by shares owned by stockholders each of whom is personally liable for the company's debts
limited liability company
: an unincorporated company formed under applicable state statute whose members cannot be held liable for the acts, debts, or obligations of the company and that may elect to be taxed as a partnership
mutual company
: an insurance company whose capital is owned by its policyholders
surety company
: a company that provides surety bonds for a fee
trust company
: a company and often a commercial bank acting as trustee for individuals and businesses and providing related financial or estate planning services

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Comments on company

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