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[pahrt-ner-ship] /ˈpɑrt nərˌʃɪp/
the state or condition of being a partner; participation; association; joint interest.
  1. the relation subsisting between partners.
  2. the contract creating this relation.
  3. an association of persons joined as partners in business.
Origin of partnership
1570-80; partner + -ship
Related forms
prepartnership, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for partnership
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We calculated to dissolve the partnership and strike out for ourselves elsewhere.

    On the Frontier Bret Harte
  • That partnership must be a partnership of peoples, not a mere partnership of governments.

  • I had been in partnership with Crinkett and wanted to get out of the thing, and go in altogether for Polyeuka.

    John Caldigate Anthony Trollope
  • The partnership between him and the government was not very distinct.

  • My own calculations at the moment were not very dissimilar; I was meditating a rupture of the partnership too.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for partnership


  1. a contractual relationship between two or more persons carrying on a joint business venture with a view to profit, each incurring liability for losses and the right to share in the profits
  2. the deed creating such a relationship
  3. the persons associated in such a relationship
the state or condition of being a partner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for partnership

1570s, from partner (n.) + -ship. In the commercial sense from c.1700.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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partnership in Culture

partnership definition

An association of two or more persons to conduct a business. In contrast to a corporation, those who engage in a partnership are liable for debts incurred by the company to the full extent of their private fortunes rather than merely to the extent of their investment.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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