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

What about accounting for shell companies and offshore accounts? Max Bearak, Washington Post, "Kenyans have had it with corruption. Their leaders may finally be doing something about it.," 13 July 2018 Emanuel, however, also did plenty of business behind the scenes in corporate boardrooms and at formal dinners, holding talks with executives of with several Chinese and Japanese companies and top government officials. Bill Ruthhart,, "Who is in Asia with Emanuel? Campaign donors, lobbyists, developers, business heavyweights," 13 July 2018 The potential synergies that could come from merging a mobile phone company and a content provider are intriguing. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump Diplomacy, Wilbur Ross, China Surplus: CEO Daily for July 13, 2018," 13 July 2018 Now, with Salas working two jobs at an engineering company and an electronics store, and his father having recently passed the bar exam after years of night school, the family is on more stable financial ground. Austin Horn, San Antonio Express-News, "With ACA under attack, a family racked by illness wonders what will happen to their health coverage," 13 July 2018 Learn why there is a problem, what should (and shouldn’t) be done to alleviate it, and hear from companies and workers how housing costs are affecting them. Laura Groch,, "North County Business Briefs, July 12," 12 July 2018 Head to one of the spots below for brews, company, and of course, plenty of nerves and cheering. Bethany Ao,, "World Cup final 2018: Where to watch France-Croatia in Philadelphia," 12 July 2018 Gawker stopped publishing in 2016, after a lawsuit brought against the company by Hulk Hogan and funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel forced it to declare bankruptcy. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Gawker was just bought by one of its frequent targets.," 12 July 2018 And the biggest beneficiary of that change would be Insikt, Gutierrez’s current company and one of the bill’s supporters. James Rufus Koren,, "Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?," 12 July 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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Statistics for company

Last Updated

7 Oct 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).


one that holds something together

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