1250-1300;Middle Englishcompainoun < Anglo-French;Old Frenchcompaignon < Late Latincompāniōn- (stem of compāniō) messmate, equivalent to com-com- + pān(is) bread + -iōn--ion; presumably as translation of a Gmc word; compare Gothicgahlaiba,Old High Germangaleipo
c.1300, from O.Fr. compaignon "fellow, mate," from L.L. companionem (nom. companio), lit. "bread fellow, messmate," from L. com- "with" + panis "bread." Found first in 6c. Frankish Lex Salica, and probably a translation of a Gmc. word (cf. Gothic gahlaiba "messmate," from hlaib "loaf of bread"). Replaced O.E. gefera "traveling companion," from faran "go, fare." Related: companionable (mid-17c.), companionship (1540s).