Definition of company in English:



  • 1A commercial business.

    [as modifier] ‘a shipping company’
    [in names] ‘the Ford Motor Company’
    [as modifier] ‘a company director’
    • ‘Drug companies are commercial companies that must market their products.’
    • ‘This could include unlimited fines for directors and companies concerned and a public rebuke.’
    • ‘It is also a great avenue for local companies to advertise their business services to overseas markets.’
    • ‘She later became a commercial manager for the company's decorator centres.’
    • ‘In effect, it is operating as a commercial company but with the cushion against failure provided by the licence fee.’
    • ‘Do you have tie-ups with banks, auto financiers or housing loan companies for business?’
    • ‘Company registration fees are fees paid to establish a company to conduct business’
    • ‘This is a great way for companies to promote their business or train new staff.’
    • ‘He will also be responsible for the company's financial services business.’
    • ‘Hauliers and manufacturing companies have said their businesses are being damaged and are laying off staff.’
    • ‘He outlined how over four years five company directors used five companies to con small businesses out of hundreds of pounds each.’
    • ‘He was promoted to group financial director of the company which was subsequently taken over by a US outfit.’
    • ‘Regulations are driving small companies out of business, leaving the multinationals in a monopoly position in the supply chain.’
    • ‘New powers will be sought to protect employee pensions if companies go out of business.’
    • ‘With 4,000 employees the company remains a business pillar of the north-east.’
    • ‘The courts have long recognised that most media companies are commercial organisations as well as providers of news.’
    • ‘But then he built up a successful mail order business and a merchandising company.’
    • ‘That just leaves the business managers in all those commercial broadcasting companies.’
    • ‘Local dignitaries, business organisations and companies involved with the development attended the opening.’
    • ‘The government must now seek to cut the rising business costs faced by companies operating in the sector, he said.’
    firm, business, corporation, house, establishment, agency, office, bureau, institution, organization, operation, concern, enterprise, venture, undertaking, practice
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  • 2[mass noun] The fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment.

    ‘I really enjoy his company’
    • ‘They don't mind very much, especially as you provide such scintillating company.’
    • ‘It's about good company, enjoying the environment and just simply chilling out.’
    • ‘They said it was a great chance to form new friendships and enjoy each other's company.’
    • ‘She provided me with good company and was also able to relieve me of burden where Adan could not.’
    • ‘Secondly, that I love my friends, both old and new and thoroughly enjoy their company.’
    • ‘Some very dear friends provided good company throughout, and I go to bed this evening tired but happy.’
    • ‘She's also there just to provide extra company for her mum and brother.’
    • ‘Joe was very well known in this area and was known for his excellent company and gift of conversation.’
    • ‘The group meets every Thursday evening for two hours and provides company and entertainment.’
    • ‘We have always enjoyed their company and friendship on both sides of the Atlantic.’
    • ‘It is like a friend whose company you enjoy, but who you'd never try to solve the problems of the universe.’
    • ‘You are not obligated to provide her with your company just because she insists on it.’
    • ‘Very good friends are likely to enjoy your company even if faced by the spectacle of you sitting in front of an empty plate.’
    • ‘Altering the visiting times will leave the elderly more alone and without company.’
    • ‘A good mixer, Pat enjoyed company and quickly made new friendships in the area on his return.’
    companionship, presence, friendship, fellowship, closeness, amity, camaraderie, comradeship
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    1. 2.1[with adjective or modifier]A person or people regarded as pleasant (or unpleasant) to be with.
      ‘she is excellent company’
      ‘you're not much company—I might as well go home’
      • ‘She is as sharp as a tack, but excellent company in a social setting.’
      • ‘Even political foes admit that he is pleasant company and a sparkling wit.’
      • ‘Old Boy, however, is up for another drink in the hotel bar, and proves excellent company.’
      • ‘Jackson was a lovely caring man, whose warmth and sense of humour made him excellent company.’
    2. 2.2The person or group of people whose society one is currently sharing.
      ‘he was silent among such distinguished company’
      • ‘Yet despite keeping such low company, Brennan appears to have his heart in the right place.’
      • ‘Finally, remember that if you do suffer from bad breath, you're in excellent company.’
      • ‘Mr Glover, who received the MBE five years ago for services to young people, is in excellent company.’
      • ‘I am delighted to have the chance to say some words in such distinguished company.’
      • ‘He is currently keeping magnificent company in the European Golden Shoe rankings.’
      • ‘But it wouldn't have been possible, or half as enjoyable, without the excellent company!’
      • ‘At the prize distribution ceremony, the young winner had celebrities for company.’
      • ‘Two Scottish players appeared in this exalted company and did not look out of place.’
      • ‘Believe me, when you're up there on that stage with just your wits for company, it's no joke.’
      group, crowd, body, party, band, collection, assembly, assemblage, cluster, flock, herd, horde, troupe, swarm, stream, mob, throng, congregation, gathering, meeting, convention
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    3. 2.3A visiting person or group of people.
      ‘I'm expecting company’
      • ‘He had put down his pack and was wondering what he could use for bait when a noise from further downstream alerted him to the fact that he had company.’
      • ‘When we returned home, my father had company and invited us to join them.’
      • ‘It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company.’
      • ‘I'd call myself so very lucky, just to have some company, to share a cup of tea with me.’
      • ‘Just before the dive Jose Luis tells us that we can expect company.’
      • ‘I probably would have invited him over if I hadn't been expecting company anytime soon.’
      • ‘If he was expecting company than why did he look so disgruntled when he answered the door?’
      • ‘When you expect company you clean the house and do numerous things to make them feel welcome and safe.’
      guests, a guest, visitors, a visitor, callers, a caller, people, someone
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  • 3A number of individuals gathered together.

    ‘the Mayor addressed the assembled company’
    group, crowd, circle, party, body, band, crew, set
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    1. 3.1A body of soldiers, especially the smallest subdivision of an infantry battalion, typically commanded by a major or captain.
      ‘B Company of the Cheshire Regiment’
      • ‘In the landing zone itself there had only been two Turkish infantry companies and an artillery battery.’
      • ‘The companies within these regiments report directly to the regimental headquarters.’
      • ‘Here stood the Captain commanding the company with half a dozen men.’
      • ‘It can be practised by units as small as a company or platoon, or as part of a major programme to protect an industrial site or air base.’
      • ‘One would hardly send a company of infantry to do a job that did not exist.’
      • ‘A total of six police and military companies were quickly deployed to quell the unrest.’
      • ‘The firepower of an infantry company was increased by a third as the pikemen were phased out and issued with muskets and bayonets.’
      • ‘The grenadier company of a line infantry battalion was paraded on the right of the line, the place of honour accorded to its status.’
      • ‘The disseminated copies go to brigade as well as the rifle companies and battalion scouts.’
      • ‘Ground lines of communications to the infantry companies are the primary mode.’
      • ‘Two infantry companies will be taking positions on the perimeter in next few days.’
      • ‘The brigade also has companies in Illinois and Massachusetts and a team in Guam.’
      • ‘This is routine in most medical companies in forward support battalions across the Army.’
      • ‘The next day he took temporary command of his company at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma.’
      • ‘Stryker infantry regiments will have three battalions of four companies each.’
      • ‘Our lieutenant, commanding the company, was the most affected by all this.’
      • ‘An example would be a forward support battalion whose companies have diverse functions.’
      • ‘This squad was standing directly in between the two companies of soldiers, a few feet from the podium.’
      • ‘The last to get back to camp that day were the two companies of Mounted Infantry.’
      • ‘Shortly after I took command of a battalion, two of my companies changed command.’
      unit, section, detachment, troop, corps, squad, squadron, platoon, battalion, division
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    2. 3.2A group of actors, singers, or dancers who perform together.
      ‘a national opera company’
      • ‘One of the actors in his company is a young William Shakespeare, and Romeo and Juliet is first performed here.’
      • ‘The silent woman turns out to be Aminta, Henry's wife, and one of the leading performers in his company.’
      • ‘He performed with various other companies, moving on to work with experimental mime which improved his mimicry skills.’
      • ‘Paulo Ribeiro, who was performing with his company in Scotland last week, hails from Portugal.’
      • ‘It is estimated that funding for the five national performing arts companies accounts for about £20m.’
      • ‘Orchestras and opera companies battle on in the face of increasing evidence of public indifference and of diminishing investment.’
      • ‘The company creates two new performances a year and often tours to Jakarta and Surabaya.’
      • ‘One would have to go back half a century to Benjamin Britten to find a composer whose works are regularly performed by opera companies worldwide.’
      • ‘I'd put a lot of sweat and my own cash into helping theatre companies pay actors.’
      • ‘In the late 1980s, Galina Samsova, a former dancer with the company, took the helm.’
      • ‘One of the troupe's touring companies will visit the Edmonton Street Performers festival this week.’
      • ‘She once famously shook hands with Dracula when she attended a gala performance by the company at Leeds Grand Theatre.’
      • ‘She acknowledges she would never have become an opera singer if the company had not given her the opportunity.’
      • ‘In 1972, a company of young Canadian actors decided to write a play set on a farm.’
      • ‘The company performed a play inspired by their experiences and written and directed by Aguirre.’
      • ‘The classical music scene languished during the war as symphony orchestras and opera companies lost musicians to military bands.’
      • ‘At the Theatre Royal in Bath, Peter Hall is unveiling another summer season of plays performed by his own company.’
      • ‘He gathers together his company after the performance on Christmas Eve on stage.’
      • ‘The company has been performing its collective creation at every stop along the way.’
      • ‘It will be the first time the ballet company has transmitted its performances to a venue outside London.’
    3. 3.3British A group of Guides.
      crowd, band, party, body, gathering, congregation, assembly, collection, cluster, flock, pack, troop, gang, batch
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  • 4rare A flock of wigeon (ducks)

    ‘a company of wigeons occasionally numbers several thousand birds’
    • ‘A company of widgeons, when first collecting, may be heard at an immense distance, by the whistling of the cocks and purring noise of the hens.’
    • ‘The company of widgeon that first took possession will probably not shift their quarters till they next migrate.’
    • ‘When a company of widgeon have once taken to frequent any particular river where plenty of food is to be had, they will continue to do so during the whole of the winter season.’
    • ‘The whole company of widgeon rose in air.’
    • ‘I saw a great company of widgeons, several thousand at least.’


[NO OBJECT]literary
  • 1 Associate with; keep company with.

    ‘these men which have companied with us all this time’
    • ‘I am happy to return to the starting point of the journey (which is also the ending point), companied with great stories, sweet memories and interesting pictures.’
    1. 1.1archaic [with object]Accompany (someone)
      ‘the fair dame, companied by Statius and myself’
      • ‘Half of her yellow bed sheets laid on the floor, companied by pop cans and potato chip bags.’
      • ‘The only one in the room, companied by a TV and coffee table.’
      • ‘Today, I think I will keep Charles companied.’
      go with, go along with, travel with, keep someone company, tag along with, partner, escort, chaperone, attend, follow, conduct, lead, take, show, see, guide, steer, usher, pilot, convoy, help, assist, show someone the way
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  • and company

    • Used after a person's name to denote those people usually associated with them.

      ‘the psycholinguistics of Jacques Lacan and company’
      • ‘Look for more than just Shakespeare from Richard Kenyon and company.’
      • ‘Created and performed by Marjorie Campbell, Michael Healey, Kristen Thomson and company.’
      • ‘Baugh, Bravo, Mohammed and company may not be household names, but they have dragged West Indies back into this match and series.’
      • ‘Having already established themselves as the biggest rock band in the world, it now seems that not even miracles are beyond Bono and company.’
      • ‘Taking that a step further, Cam Hayden and company also dig a bit deeper every year to find an act that many of us have not been exposed to on any level.’
      • ‘Jean is obviously new to Tyee exposure, and has only been a victim of a gross lack of objectivity from under the rule of Asper and company.’
      • ‘A great night of entertainment is promised by Pat Kearns and company.’
      • ‘The conference wrapped up last Friday evening, just in time for Mary and company to head down to Pigeon Island side lawn.’
      • ‘A well-drilled draw will do, and Bayern possess the rearguard for that, even if Raul and company are attempting to pierce it.’
      • ‘We hope the cooking lessons can be resumed for Wouter and company!’
  • be in good company

    • Be in the same situation as someone important or respected.

      ‘if you spot the ghost, you are in good company: King George V saw it too’
      • ‘If you can't come up with many names, you're in good company.’
      • ‘But Dean is in good company with many of his fellow Democrats.’
      • ‘I may end up being wrong but at least I'll be in good company.’
      • ‘I'm in good company, because they know how to party.’
      • ‘And the president is going to learn (perhaps the hard way), that I am in good company in this fight.’
      • ‘I also sent the challenge to my team and fellow project managers at work, several of whom have decided to join in, so we are in good company, my friends.’
      • ‘It's just that I don't understand it, and I am in good company: neither do all the lawyers, accountants and independent advisers I know.’
      • ‘You have synaesthesia and you're in good company.’
      • ‘Glad to know I'm in good company, but as Charles points out, Google News' criteria are rather odd.’
      • ‘The Millennial Medley Medals places me in good company.’
  • in company

    • With another person or a group of people.

      ‘he feels at ease in company’
      • ‘I am sorry to say that in all cases, the caller has been young and male and has made the phone call in company, as indicated by raucous laughter in the background.’
      • ‘Besides, it was my chance to enjoy a couple of tracks of my in-car bagpipe tape, the one I'm not allowed to play in company.’
      • ‘I'm shy and when in company tend to do little talking.’
      • ‘What do you do when you are sitting in company and you realize that the stench is coming from you?’
      • ‘For so many years, I've sat in company, saying how important it is to love where you're from, because that is part of who you are.’
      • ‘Apart from walking, that is - I'm a strong, fast walker who has to make a deliberate effort to slow down when in company.’
      • ‘Quite a few warnings have gone round about not walking across poorly lit parks at night, even, it would seem, in company.’
      • ‘The hardened smokers will probably be in company of other smokers most of the time and won't cause any particular friction.’
      • ‘There's the odd mood swing, I'll suddenly get very depressed, sometimes in company, sometimes by myself.’
      • ‘But when someone is rude or obnoxious or singles Brenda out in company then she can find it a little harder to take.’
  • in company with

    • Together with.

      ‘the US dollar went through a bad patch in 1986, in company with the oil market’
      • ‘Crossing in company with a couple of other boats can give you a feeling of security, as the Stream and the occasional winter cold fronts are not to be trifled with.’
      • ‘Her death truly closes a chapter of history; and in company with many millions throughout the world, we mourn her as one for whom we have had not only a deep respect but also a genuine affection.’
      • ‘The unfortunate youth left home about seven o'clock this morning in company with two others, the three going to a pit lodge about four hundred yards away, for the purpose of skating.’
      • ‘At one stage she was seen to be in company with a man who ran beside her.’
      • ‘This had included time sightseeing in Bangkok, special events to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, as well as attending the Jamboree itself in company with 30,000 other scouts of all nationalities.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in the country an exceptionally large reedbed roost in Hampshire once held over 180 grey wagtails in company with 100 pied wagtails.’
      • ‘Her music has an air of freshness, brightness and fidelity about it, inspired, well heard and technically well made, and without any doubt - a pleasure to be in company with.’
      • ‘Damien was the last person he wanted to be in company with.’
      • ‘We are also interested in witnesses who would be able to describe the other people who the victim was in company with, particularly men.’
      • ‘I find too that it spoils things a bit if you are in company with smokers as they have to keep going out to smoke.’
      together with, accompanying, accompanied by, in company with
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  • keep (or archaicbear) someone company

    • 1Accompany or spend time with someone in order to prevent them feeling lonely or bored.

      ‘at weekends I kept my father company’
      • ‘And here I was hoping to keep you company in this huge lonely palace, but you already have someone to entertain you.’
      • ‘He had politely introduced himself out of the blue and spent a whole day insisting he keep me company and patiently following me around until he finally won me over with his charm.’
      • ‘But listen, don't drop by the house this weekend to keep me company or anything, alright?’
      • ‘They let me take one for a small fee and I had a companion to keep me company during the day.’
      • ‘What she wanted to say was that she missed her family, and although the house was elegant, and the land and horses were her dream, times were lonely without someone there to keep her company.’
      • ‘He was still single, but had an adopted son to keep him company on his travels.’
      • ‘And now Poppy has a new companion to keep her company.’
      • ‘And as for me, I wouldn't mind if you kept me company until your father gets here.’
      • ‘You asked me to sit with you, to keep you company because you were lonely.’
      • ‘Now it was simply to spend a bit more time with her, to keep her company and just to make up for all the time she hadn't been there.’
      accompany, go with, go along with, travel with, tag along with, partner, escort, chaperone, attend, follow, conduct, lead, take, show, see, guide, steer, usher, pilot, convoy, help, assist, show someone the way
      lead the way
      company, bear someone company, companion
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      1. 1.1Engage in the same activity as someone else in order to be sociable.
        ‘I'll have a drink myself, just to keep you company’
  • keep company with

    • Associate with habitually.

      ‘she began keeping company with a real-estate developer’
      • ‘Ever since cameras were invented in 1839, photography has kept company with death.’
      • ‘If some of their operatives were keeping company with people who were likely to create a risk for them, they would have switched that off very quickly and put a stop to it.’
      • ‘He said that in the last few months he had been trying not to get into trouble and attempting to keep company with people who were not on the fringes of that sort of behaviour.’
      • ‘There can be more than comfort drawn from keeping company with teams whose capabilities are far from colossal.’
      • ‘I guess it doesn't matter now that there was a time not so long ago when she wouldn't have kept company with them on a bet.’
      • ‘Instead he enters the surreal nightmare of the seeping, stinking trenches on the Western front, where he keeps company with rats not birds.’
      • ‘Over the years he had kept company with some legendary drinkers.’
      • ‘Ever since she moved south in 1964, aged 15, Lulu has kept company with the most famous in the land.’
      • ‘And here she keeps company with the intellectual greats.’
      • ‘And I'd like to quote another one of our ancient philosophical teachings which says that good luck always keeps company with misfortune and vice versa.’


Middle English (in company, company): from Old French compainie; related to compaignon (see companion).