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 Webb’s company was bought in 2008 by Teledyne Technologies Inc., which has attracted a number of customers, including the U.S. Navy, NOAA and a variety of universities. John Fialka, Scientific American, "A Robotic Mini-Armada Will Probe the Secrets of Hurricanes," 14 July 2020 The beverage company will launch the contactless Coca-Cola Freestyle dispenser, which allows customers to choose and pour drinks from their phones without having to create an account or download an app. Coral Murphy, USA TODAY, "Pour by phone: Coca-Cola introduces contactless technology to pour your beverage," 14 July 2020 Apollo’s Fire director Jeannette Sorrell said the company chose to postpone as a precautionary response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and elsewhere. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Apollo’s Fire postpones ‘Blues Cafe 1610’ show at Music Box due to coronavirus," 13 July 2020 Notified by Lockheed, his father’s company, the family arrived at the Mehrabad Airport at 3 p.m. for the last five seats. Vincent T. Davis,, "Arc of San Antonio member’s life filled with adventure and achievements on world stage," 13 July 2020 In addition, the company is offering up to 40 percent off select items on its site. Mark Heim |, al, "New York & Company files for bankruptcy, closing stores, 40 percent off select items site-wide," 13 July 2020 The company sees the U.S. jobless rate easing to 7.8% next year from an average 10.3% in 2020. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "This recession has exposed key myths, misconceptions about the economy. Here's how," 13 July 2020 But the move set up a diplomatic clash with the Americans, who claim that British sovereignty was at risk because the company could give the Chinese government access to data - an allegation Huawei denies. Washington Post, "BT CEO warns of long road to excise Huawei from UK network," 13 July 2020 To celebrate the occasion, the company released a video to social media of its employees welcoming guests back to the park. Fox News, "Disney World reopening video mocked by social media users: 'Stay home'," 13 July 2020

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

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Company.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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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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