noun, plural companies.
a number of individuals assembled or associated together; group of people.
a guest or guests: We're having company for dinner.
an assemblage of persons for social purposes.
companionship; fellowship; association: I always enjoy her company.
one's usual companions: I don't like the company he keeps.
society collectively.
a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action, especially for business: a publishing company; a dance company.
(initial capital letter) the members of a firm not specifically named in the firm's title: George Higgins and Company.
the smallest body of troops, consisting of a headquarters and two or three platoons.
any relatively small group of soldiers.
Army. a basic unit with both tactical and administrative functions.
a unit of firefighters, including their special apparatus: a hook-and-ladder company.
Also called ship's company. a ship's crew, including the officers.
a medieval trade guild.
the Company, Informal. a nation's major intelligence-gathering and espionage organization, as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
verb (used without object), companied, companying.
Archaic. to associate.
verb (used with object), companied, companying.
Archaic. to accompany.
keep company,
to associate with; be a friend of.
Informal. to go together, as in courtship: My sister has been keeping company with a young lawyer.
part company,
to cease association or friendship with: We parted company 20 years ago after the argument.
to take a different or opposite view; differ: He parted company with his father on politics.
to separate: We parted company at the airport.

1200–50; Middle English < Anglo-French; Old French compaignie companionship, equivalent to compain (< Late Latin compāniō; see companion1) + -ie -y3

companyless, adjective
intercompany, adjective

1. group, assemblage, body. Company, band, party, troop refer to a group of people formally or informally associated. Company is the general word and means any group of people: a company of motorists. Band used especially of a band of musicians, suggests a relatively small group pursuing the same purpose or sharing a common fate: a concert by a band; a band of survivors. Party except when used of a political group, usually implies an indefinite and temporary assemblage, as for some common pursuit: a spelunking party. Troop used specifically of a body of cavalry, usually implies a number of individuals organized as a unit: a troop of cavalry. 3. gathering, crowd. 6. firm, house, corporation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
company (ˈkʌmpənɪ)
n , pl -nies
1.  a number of people gathered together; assembly
2.  the fact of being with someone; companionship: I enjoy her company
3.  a social visitor or visitors; guest or guests
4.  a business enterprise
5.  Co, Abbreviation: co the members of an enterprise not specifically mentioned in the enterprise's title
6.  a group of actors, usually including business and technical personnel
7.  a unit of around 100 troops, usually comprising two or more platoons
8.  the officers and crew of a ship
9.  a unit of Girl Guides
10.  English history a medieval guild
11.  keep company, bear company
 a.  to accompany (someone)
 b.  (esp of lovers) to associate with each other; spend time together
12.  part company
 a.  to end a friendship or association, esp as a result of a quarrel; separate
 b.  (foll by with) to leave; go away (from); be separated (from)
vb , -nies, -nies, -nying, -nied
13.  archaic to keep company or associate (with someone)
[C13: from Old French compaignie, from compain companion, fellow, from Late Latin compāniō; see companion1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1150, from O.Fr. compaignie "body of soldiers," from L.L. companio (see companion). Meaning "subdivision of an infantry regiment" is from 1590. Sense of "business association" first recorded 1553, having earlier been used in reference to trade guilds (c.1300). Abbreviation co. dates from 1759.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with company, also see keep someone company; misery loves company; part company; two's company.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
As your company grows you can hire more people and pay them more money, generating more wealth.
The company has announced plays for next year and an extended ticket discount program.
The methodology varies from company to company, but the process generally begins with a written proposal.
Rarely has a company managed to destroy so much shareholder value in such a short space of time.
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