noun, often attributive
com·​pa·​ny | \ˈkəmp-nē, 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


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.


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

Other tech companies like Snap have strongly encouraged workers to use Android phones. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Mark Zuckerberg ordered all Facebook executives to use Android phones," 14 Nov. 2018 These are not unique policies for modern tech companies, and the background processes have never had a noticeable effect on our test phones’ performance. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—tech and gear for travel that we’d buy," 13 Nov. 2018 Related The heightened political environment of recent years has also created divisions between workers inside the largest tech companies. Greg Bensinger And Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Tech Firms Should Face ‘Thoughtful’ Regulation, Lawmakers Say," 13 Nov. 2018 At the time, Musk was still working for tech companies in addition to working in food. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Kimbal Musk Is Reinventing Food One Shipping Container at a Time," 24 Oct. 2018 The company has been taking its brick-and-mortar locations to the next level in recent years. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "Anthropologie's New Store Is Like Disney For Design Lovers," 22 Oct. 2018 The master bedroom is wrapped in a fabric called Lu-Si from the Turkish company Tulu, and the daughter’s room is in a Pierre Frey safari print, which felt both sophisticated and super cheerful. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A New York Pied-à-terre Filled with Rich Colors, Layered Patterns and Upholstered Surfaces," 19 Oct. 2018 The tech company’s Future Life Factory design studio partnered with Japanese fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga to develop an open-plan solution to end all open-plan solutions. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Panasonic designed human blinders to block out open-plan office distraction," 18 Oct. 2018 Fitness tech company Motiv also has its own version of the ring, which comes in dark gray and rose gold. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Story Behind Prince Harry's Surprising New Ring," 18 Oct. 2018

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


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


see company entry 1

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Learn More about company

Statistics for company

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for company

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

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More Definitions for company



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, 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

What made you want to look up company? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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