Definition of company in US English:

company

nounPlural companies

  • 1A commercial business.

    ‘a shipping company’
    in names ‘the Ford Motor Company’
    as modifier ‘a company director’
    • ‘Hauliers and manufacturing companies have said their businesses are being damaged and are laying off staff.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This could include unlimited fines for directors and companies concerned and a public rebuke.’
    • ‘She later became a commercial manager for the company's decorator centres.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is also a great avenue for local companies to advertise their business services to overseas markets.’
    • ‘Drug companies are commercial companies that must market their products.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do you have tie-ups with banks, auto financiers or housing loan companies for business?’
    • ‘He outlined how over four years five company directors used five companies to con small businesses out of hundreds of pounds each.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The government must now seek to cut the rising business costs faced by companies operating in the sector, he said.’
    • ‘New powers will be sought to protect employee pensions if companies go out of business.’
    • ‘In effect, it is operating as a commercial company but with the cushion against failure provided by the licence fee.’
    • ‘Company registration fees are fees paid to establish a company to conduct business’
    firm, business, corporation, house, establishment, agency, office, bureau, institution, organization, operation, concern, enterprise, venture, undertaking, practice
    View synonyms
  • 2The fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment.

    ‘I could do with some company’
    • ‘They don't mind very much, especially as you provide such scintillating company.’
    • ‘We have always enjoyed their company and friendship on both sides of the Atlantic.’
    • ‘Joe was very well known in this area and was known for his excellent company and gift of conversation.’
    • ‘Altering the visiting times will leave the elderly more alone and without company.’
    • ‘Very good friends are likely to enjoy your company even if faced by the spectacle of you sitting in front of an empty plate.’
    • ‘She's also there just to provide extra company for her mum and brother.’
    • ‘Some very dear friends provided good company throughout, and I go to bed this evening tired but happy.’
    • ‘You are not obligated to provide her with your company just because she insists on it.’
    • ‘A good mixer, Pat enjoyed company and quickly made new friendships in the area on his return.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is like a friend whose company you enjoy, but who you'd never try to solve the problems of the universe.’
    • ‘She provided me with good company and was also able to relieve me of burden where Adan could not.’
    • ‘The group meets every Thursday evening for two hours and provides company and entertainment.’
    • ‘Secondly, that I love my friends, both old and new and thoroughly enjoy their company.’
    companionship, presence, friendship, fellowship, closeness, amity, camaraderie, comradeship
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A person or people seen as a source of such friendship and enjoyment.
      ‘she is excellent company’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She is as sharp as a tack, but excellent company in a social setting.’
      • ‘Jackson was a lovely caring man, whose warmth and sense of humour made him excellent company.’
    2. 2.2 The person or group of people whose society someone is currently sharing.
      ‘he was silent among such distinguished company’
      • ‘Two Scottish players appeared in this exalted company and did not look out of place.’
      • ‘He is currently keeping magnificent company in the European Golden Shoe rankings.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the prize distribution ceremony, the young winner had celebrities for company.’
      • ‘I am delighted to have the chance to say some words in such distinguished company.’
      • ‘Mr Glover, who received the MBE five years ago for services to young people, is in excellent company.’
      • ‘But it wouldn't have been possible, or half as enjoyable, without the excellent company!’
      • ‘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. 2.3 A visiting person or group of people.
      ‘I'm expecting company’
      • ‘When you expect company you clean the house and do numerous things to make them feel welcome and safe.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If he was expecting company than why did he look so disgruntled when he answered the door?’
      • ‘When we returned home, my father had company and invited us to join them.’
      • ‘I probably would have invited him over if I hadn't been expecting company anytime soon.’
      • ‘It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are 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.’
      guests, a guest, visitors, a visitor, callers, a caller, people, someone
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  • 3A number of individuals gathered together, especially for a particular purpose.

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

verbcompanies, companying, companied

[no object]company with
literary
  • 1Associate 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.’
      • ‘Today, I think I will keep Charles companied.’
      • ‘The only one in the room, companied by a TV and coffee table.’
      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
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • and company

    • 1Used after a person's name to denote those people usually associated with them.

      ‘the psycholinguistics of Jacques Lacan and company’
      • ‘A great night of entertainment is promised by Pat Kearns and company.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Having already established themselves as the biggest rock band in the world, it now seems that not even miracles are beyond Bono and company.’
      • ‘The conference wrapped up last Friday evening, just in time for Mary and company to head down to Pigeon Island side lawn.’
      • ‘Baugh, Bravo, Mohammed and company may not be household names, but they have dragged West Indies back into this match and series.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We hope the cooking lessons can be resumed for Wouter and company!’
      • ‘A well-drilled draw will do, and Bayern possess the rearguard for that, even if Raul and company are attempting to pierce it.’
      • ‘Look for more than just Shakespeare from Richard Kenyon and company.’
      • ‘Created and performed by Marjorie Campbell, Michael Healey, Kristen Thomson and company.’
      1. 1.1Used in the name of a business to denote other unspecified partners.
        ‘Little, Brown 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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But Dean is in good company with many of his fellow Democrats.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Millennial Medley Medals places me in good company.’
      • ‘And the president is going to learn (perhaps the hard way), that I am in good company in this fight.’
      • ‘If you can't come up with many names, you're in good company.’
      • ‘Glad to know I'm in good company, but as Charles points out, Google News' criteria are rather odd.’
      • ‘You have synaesthesia and you're in good company.’
  • in company

    • With another person or a group of people.

      ‘you were never to mention in company your father's uncle’
      • ‘The hardened smokers will probably be in company of other smokers most of the time and won't cause any particular friction.’
      • ‘Apart from walking, that is - I'm a strong, fast walker who has to make a deliberate effort to slow down when 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?’
      • ‘Quite a few warnings have gone round about not walking across poorly lit parks at night, even, it would seem, in company.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But when someone is rude or obnoxious or singles Brenda out in company then she can find it a little harder to take.’
      • ‘There's the odd mood swing, I'll suddenly get very depressed, sometimes in company, sometimes by myself.’
      • ‘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.’
  • in company with

    • Together with.

      ‘the U.S. dollar went through a bad patch in 1986, in company with the oil market’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Damien was the last person he wanted to be in company with.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At one stage she was seen to be in company with a man who ran beside her.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are also interested in witnesses who would be able to describe the other people who the victim was in company with, particularly men.’
      together with, accompanying, accompanied by, in company with
      View synonyms
  • keep someone company

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

      • ‘And now Poppy has a new companion to keep her company.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘And as for me, I wouldn't mind if you kept me company until your father gets here.’
      • ‘But listen, don't drop by the house this weekend to keep me company or anything, alright?’
      • ‘And here I was hoping to keep you company in this huge lonely palace, but you already have someone to entertain you.’
      • ‘You asked me to sit with you, to keep you company because you were lonely.’
      • ‘He was still single, but had an adopted son to keep him company on his travels.’
      • ‘They let me take one for a small fee and I had a companion to keep me company during the day.’
      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
      View synonyms
      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

    • 1Associate with habitually.

      ‘we don't especially care for the people he's been keeping company with’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Ever since she moved south in 1964, aged 15, Lulu has kept company with the most famous in the land.’
      • ‘Instead he enters the surreal nightmare of the seeping, stinking trenches on the Western front, where he keeps company with rats not birds.’
      • ‘There can be more than comfort drawn from keeping company with teams whose capabilities are far from colossal.’
      • ‘Over the years he had kept company with some legendary drinkers.’
      • ‘And here she keeps company with the intellectual greats.’
      • ‘Ever since cameras were invented in 1839, photography has kept company with death.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      1. 1.1Have a social or romantic relationship with; date.
        ‘are you keeping company with anyone special these days?’

Origin

Middle English (in company (sense 2 of the noun, company sense 3 of the noun)): from Old French compainie; related to compaignon (see companion).

Pronunciation

company

/ˈkəmp(ə)nē//ˈkəmp(ə)ni/