From Old French compaignie (“companionship”) (Modern French: compagnie), possibly from Late Latin *compania, but this word is not attested. Old French compaignie is equivalent to Old French compaignon (Modern French: compagnon) + -ie. More at companion.
company (countable and uncountable, plural companies)
- A team; a group of people who work together professionally.
- A group of individuals with a common purpose.
- A company of actors.
- (military) A unit of approximately sixty to one hundred and twenty soldiers, typically consisting of two or three platoons and forming part of a battalion.
- the boys in Company C
1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 30, The Dust of Conflict:
- It was by his order the shattered leading company flung itself into the houses when the Sin Verguenza were met by an enfilading volley as they reeled into the calle.
- A unit of firefighters and their equipment.
- It took six companies to put out the fire.
- (nautical) The entire crew of a ship.
- (espionage) Nickname for an intelligence service.
- As he had worked for the CIA for over 30 years, he would soon take retirement from the company.
- (law, business) An entity that manufactures or sells products (also known as goods), or provides services as a commercial venture. A corporation.
1913, Robert Barr, chapter 4, Lord Stranleigh Abroad:
- “[…] That woman is stark mad, Lord Stranleigh. […] If she had her way, she’d ruin the company inside a year with her hare-brained schemes; love of the people, and that sort of guff.”
- (business) Any business, without respect to incorporation.
2013 May 17, George Monbiot, “Money just makes the rich suffer”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 188, number 23, page 19:
- In order to grant the rich these pleasures, the social contract is reconfigured. […] The public realm is privatised, the regulations restraining the ultra–wealthy and the companies they control are abandoned, and Edwardian levels of inequality are almost fetishised.
2013 June 8, “Obama goes troll-hunting”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
- According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
- (uncountable) Social visitors or companions.
- Keep the house clean; I have company coming.
1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
- The departure was not unduly prolonged. In the road Mr. Love and the driver favoured the company with a brief chanty running. “Got it?—No, I ain't, 'old on,—Got it? Got it?—No, 'old on sir.”
- (uncountable) Companionship.
- I treasure your company.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
- He used to drop into my chambers once in a while to smoke, and was first-rate company. When I gave a dinner there was generally a cover laid for him. I liked the man for his own sake, and even had he promised to turn out a celebrity it would have had no weight with me.
Terms derived from company
in legal context, a corporation
- Afrikaans: maatskappy
- Albanian: kompani f
- Arabic: شَرِكة (šarika)
- Armenian: ընկերություն (ənkerutʿyun)
- Belarusian: кампа́нія f (kampánija), фі́рма f (fírma)
- Bengali: কম্পনী (kōmpāni)
- Bulgarian: корпора́ция (bg) f (korporácija), компа́ния (bg) f (kompánija)
- Catalan: companyia (ca) f
- Mandarin: 公司 (zh) (gōngsī)
- Czech: společnost (cs) f
- Danish: virksomhed
- Dutch: bedrijf (nl) n, zaak (nl) f, firma (nl) f
- Finnish: yhtiö (fi)
- French: société (fr) f, entreprise (fr) f, firme (fr) f, compagnie (fr) f
- Georgian: კომპანია (kompania), ფირმა (p’irma)
- German: Gesellschaft (de) f, Firma (de) f, Unternehmen (de) n
- Greek: εταιρεία (el) f (etaireía), εταιρία (el) f (etairía)
- Hebrew: חברה (he) f (khevra)
- Hindi: समवाय (samavāya), कंपनी f (kampanī)
- Icelandic: fyrirtæki (is) n
- Indonesian: perusahaan (id)
- Interlingua: compania
- Japanese: 会社 (ja) (かいしゃ, kaisha)
- Korean: 회사 (ko) (hoesa) (會社 (ko))
- Kurdish: şirket (ku) f, pargîdanî (ku) f, fîrma (ku) f, kompanya (ku) f, şirîke (ku) f
- Latvian: sabiedrība f, kompānija f
- Lithuanian: bendrovė f, kompanija (lt) f
- Luhya: kampuni
- Macedonian: фи́рма f (fírma), претприја́тие n (pretprijátie), компа́нија f (kompánija)
- Malay: syarikat (ms), kompeni
- Maori: kamupene
- Bokmål: selskap
- Nynorsk: selskap
- Persian: کمپانی (fa) (kompâni), شرکت (fa) (šerkat)
- Polish: firma (pl) f, przedsiębiorstwo (pl) n
- Portuguese: companhia (pt) f
- Romanian: societate (ro) f, firmă (ro) f, companie (ro) f, întreprindere (ro) f
- Russian: компа́ния (ru) f (kompánija), фи́рма (ru) f (fírma), о́бщество (ru) n (óbščestvo), това́рищество (ru) n (továriščestvo), предприя́тие (ru) n (predprijátije), корпора́ция (ru) f (korporácija)
- Scottish Gaelic: companaidh m, f
- Serbo-Croatian: tvrtka (sh), kompanija (sh), poduzeće (sh), твртка f, компанија f, подузеће n
- Sinhalese: කොම්පැනිය (kompæniya)
- Slovak: spoločnosť f
- Slovene: podjetje n
- Spanish: empresa (es) f
- Swahili: kampuni (sw)
- Swedish: verksamhet (sv), bolag (sv)
- Thai: บริษัท (bor-rí-sàt)
- Turkish: işletme (tr)
- Ukrainian: товари́ство (uk) n (tovarýstvo), ді́ло n (dílo), компа́нія (uk) f (kompánija), фі́рма f (fírma)
- Urdu: کمپنی f (kampanī)
- Uyghur: شىركەت (shirket)
- Vietnamese: công ty (vi) (公司 (vi))
- Yiddish: פירמע (firme)
in non-legal context, any business, without respect to incorporation
group of individuals with a common purpose
unit of firefighters and their equipment
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked
company (third-person singular simple present companies, present participle companying, simple past and past participle companied)
- (archaic, transitive) To accompany, keep company with.
- 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts X:
- Ye dooe knowe howe thatt hytt ys an unlawefull thynge for a man beynge a iewe to company or come unto an alient [...].
- 1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country, Nebraska 2005, p. 2:
- it was with a distinctly fallen countenance that his father hearkened to his mother's parenthetical request to “’bide hyar an’ company leetle Moses whilst I be a-milkin’ the cow.”
- (archaic, intransitive) To associate.
- Bible, Acts i. 21
- Men which have companied with us all the time.
- (obsolete, intransitive) To be a lively, cheerful companion.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
- (obsolete, intransitive) To have sexual intercourse.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hall to this entry?)