part·​ner·​ship ˈpärt-nər-ˌship How to pronounce partnership (audio)
 also  ˈpärd-
: the state of being a partner : participation
scientists working in partnership with each other
: a legal relation existing between two or more persons contractually associated as joint principals in a business
began a legal partnership with his uncle
: the persons joined together in a partnership
the partnership computes its net income … in a manner similar to that of an individualJ. K. Lasser
: a relationship resembling a legal partnership and usually involving close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities
The band has maintained a successful partnership for 10 years.

Example Sentences

two people joined in partnership scientists working in partnership with each other The company is developing a new car in partnership with leading auto manufacturers in Japan. Their marriage is a partnership that has remained strong despite family illness. The singing duo has maintained a successful partnership for 20 years. a notable partnership between two experienced scientists in the field He joined the partnership last year. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The new state-of-the-art campus also includes a battery plant as part of a partnership with energy company SK Innovation. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 24 Mar. 2023 This partnership enables access to NVIDIA AI Supercomputing and Software through a browser. Janakiram Msv, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 Through a partnership with the University of the West Indies that uncovered the names of those who toiled on the plantation, Appleton Estate has taken a major step in incorporating the enslaved in the story told to visitors and consumers. Bee Quammie,, 23 Mar. 2023 Through that partnership, the program received more than 10,000 orders in its first day. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 22 Mar. 2023 Members of the partnership include such companies as OpenAI, Adobe, Tiktok and the BBC’s R&D arm, as well as several AI startups. Ned Potter, IEEE Spectrum, 22 Mar. 2023 How did this partnership come to be, and what inspired you to create this specific lip balm trio? Katie Intner, Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Mar. 2023 Roscosmos is facing a host of challenges, including the loss of Soyuz launch revenues and the looming end of its partnership on the International Space Station. WIRED, 20 Mar. 2023 Chicago-area residents looking to buy their first home will now have access to a new down payment assistance credit courtesy of a partnership between mortgage finance company Freddie Mac and mortgage lender Rocket Mortgage. Lizzie Kane, Chicago Tribune, 20 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'partnership.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of partnership was in 1576

Dictionary Entries Near partnership

Cite this Entry

“Partnership.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


part·​ner·​ship ˈpärt-nər-ˌship How to pronounce partnership (audio)
: the state of being a partner
: a business organization owned by two or more persons who agree to share the profits and losses

Legal Definition


: an association of two or more persons or entities that conduct a business for profit as co-owners see also Uniform Partnership Act compare corporation, joint venture, sole proprietorship

Note: Except in civil law as practiced in Louisiana, where a partnership, like a corporation, is considered a legal person, a partnership is traditionally viewed as an association of individuals rather than as an entity with a separate and independent existence. A partnership cannot exist beyond the lives of the partners. The partners are taxed as individuals and are personally liable for torts and contractual obligations. Each partner is viewed as the other's agent and, traditionally, is jointly and severally liable for the tortious acts of any one of the partners.

commercial partnership
: trading partnership in this entry
family limited partnership
: a limited partnership in which the partners are members of a family
family partnership
: a partnership in which the partners are members of a family
general partnership
: a partnership in which each partner is liable for all partnership debts and obligations in full regardless of the amount of the individual partner's capital contribution compare limited partnership in this entry
limited liability partnership
: a partnership formed under applicable state statute in which the partnership is liable as an entity for debts and obligations and the partners are not liable personally
limited partnership
: a partnership in which the business is managed by one or more general partners and is provided with capital by limited partners who do not participate in management but who share in profits and whose individual liability is limited to the amount of their respective capital contributions compare general partnership in this entry
master limited partnership
: a limited partnership that offers interests for sale on the market
also : the interests themselves sold as securities
mining partnership
: a partnership in which two or more persons jointly own a mining claim and actually engage in extracting minerals with the purpose of sharing profits and losses
nontrading partnership
: a partnership that is not engaged in the buying and selling of goods

called also non-commercial partnership

compare trading partnership in this entry
partnership at will
: a partnership whose duration is not fixed by contract and that is terminable at will by any partner
partnership by estoppel
: a partnership created by operation of law when a defendant by words or conduct represents himself or herself to the plaintiff or to the public as a partner and the plaintiff relies on the representation to his or her detriment
partnership in commendam
in the civil law of Louisiana : limited partnership in this entry
trading partnership
: a partnership whose business involves the buying and selling of goods

called also commercial partnership

compare nontrading partnership in this entry

More from Merriam-Webster on partnership

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