keep company with

idiomatic phrase

: to spend time with (someone)
He keeps company with the rich and famous.
" … But if you keep company with a disloyal man, we might think that you were disloyal, too. See?"Arthur Conan Doyle
(old-fashioned) She's been keeping company with a young man. = A young man has been keeping company with her. [=They have been spending time together in a way that shows romantic interest.]
[Charlie] Chaplin continued making great movies, but the original innocence began to wane. Once he started keeping company with the likes of Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw, he wanted to make masterpieces, at times spending weeks on filming a single shot.The Associated Press
sometimes used figuratively
In her garden, roses keep company with lilies.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web So, this no-longer muse learns to keep company with herself. Saidiya Hartman, The New Yorker, 3 Mar. 2023 Jean Prouvé and Mexican Campeche chairs keep company with Philippe Starck gnome stools and a 19th-century French country farm table that sat in the brothers’ childhood kitchen in New Orleans. William Li, ELLE Decor, 14 July 2022 There, tomes on lead mining in the Pennines and the letters of Bronson Alcott keep company with every book ever written about the Civil War, which was Tony’s passion. New York Times, 19 June 2022 Sarah Wayne Callies is ready to keep company with Milo Ventimiglia. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2022 The former collection of Vincenzo Giustiniani was amassed in the seventeenth century (to keep company with Caravaggio’s saucy Victorious Cupid), and the exhibition’s smaller final rooms gather sculptures first known from several Renaissance collections. Ingrid D. Rowland, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2021 Largemouth bass keep company with a good population of smallmouth, so anglers targeting the latter may also add drop shots, Ned rigs, shaky heads and Neko rigs to their arsenals. Frank Sargeant, al, 17 Mar. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'keep company with.' 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

1502, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of keep company with was in 1502

Dictionary Entries Near keep company with

Cite this Entry

“Keep company with.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!