com·​pan·​ion·​able kəm-ˈpan-yə-nə-bəl How to pronounce companionable (audio)
: marked by, conducive to, or suggestive of companionship : sociable
companionable people
companionable laughter
companionability noun
companionableness noun
companionably adverb

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A "companionable" person is someone who (etymologically at least) is willing to share bread with you. "Companionable" is the adjective form of "companion," which ultimately derives from a combination of the Latin prefix com-, meaning "with" or "together," and the noun panis, meaning "bread, loaf, or food." "Companionable" first appeared in print in English in the 16th century (companion has been in use since the 14th). Other descendants of "panis" include "pantry" (a place for storing food), "pannier" (a basket such as might carry food), and "panettone" (a kind of yeast bread). Even "food" itself is derived from the same ancient root that gave rise to "panis" in Latin.

Examples of companionable in a Sentence

a companionable pat on the back let me know that my shipmates were now my friends a good club for companionable enthusiasts of the great outdoors
Recent Examples on the Web The Fussy Dinner Party as an Art Form Photograph from Moda Operandi There are those of us who throw together haphazard meals for friends and expect the sheer force of companionable affection to patch the aesthetic and social gaps. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 19 Nov. 2023 The three books are united by the way in which the unnamed narrator — her voice the same, companionable tone in all three — notices the world, alert to human pain, to people undone by life, unmoored by death, lost. Wyatt Mason, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2023 Advertisement Their improbably companionable relationship comes a time when partisan differences run marrow-deep and many Democrats and Republicans view their parties not as vessels of collected interests but warring tribes locked in mortal conflict. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2023 Expect the unexpected with maverick Uranus in the mix on the 23rd, and enjoy some companionable private time near the 27th. Katharine Merlin, Town & Country, 16 July 2023 From then on, their locker room atmosphere became more than just companionable. Sally Jenkins, Anchorage Daily News, 3 July 2023 In his Discourse on the Origin and the Foundation of Inequality (1755), humans went from being solitary brutes to companionable, egalitarian hunter-gatherers; but with the rise of metallurgy and agriculture, things had taken a dire turn: people were civilized, and humanity was ruined. Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Review of Books, 14 Jan. 2021 Popular culture has tamed them into cuteness, turning them into kitschy collectibles on the shelves of souvenir stores, ornaments on Christmas trees or, thanks to the Harry Potter books, companionable pets. Christoph Irmscher, WSJ, 3 Feb. 2023 And some inclusions of canine remains in human burials suggest a symbolic rather than companionable relationship, with many graves including single elements such as jaw bones. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'companionable.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1593, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of companionable was in 1593


Dictionary Entries Near companionable

Cite this Entry

“Companionable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


com·​pan·​ion·​able kəm-ˈpan-yə-nə-bəl How to pronounce companionable (audio)
companionably adverb

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