com•pa•ny(kum′pə nē),USA pronunciationn., pl.-nies,v.,-nied, -ny•ing. n.
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.
a number of persons united or incorporated for joint action, esp. for business:a publishing company; a dance company.
Business(cap.) 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.
Nautical, Naval TermsAlso called ship's company. a ship's crew, including the officers.
Business, Informal Termsa medieval trade guild.
Governmentthe Company,[Informal.]a nation's major intelligence-gathering and espionage organization, as the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
to associate with; be a friend of.
[Informal.]to go together, as in courtship:My sister has been keeping company with a young lawyer.
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.
Late Latin compāniō; see companion1) + -ie -y3
Anglo-French; Old French compaignie companionship, equivalent. to compain (
Middle English 1200–50
1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged 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 esp. 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.See corresponding entry in Unabridged gathering, crowd.
6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged firm, house, corporation.