n. & v.
n. (pl. -ies) 1 a a number of people assembled; a crowd; an audience (addressed the company). b guests or a guest (am expecting company). 2 a state of being a companion or fellow; companionship, esp. of a specific kind (enjoys low company; do not care for his company). 3 a a commercial business. b (usu. Co.) the partner or partners not named in the title of a firm (Smith and Co.). 4 a troupe of actors or entertainers. 5 Mil. a subdivision of an infantry battalion usu. commanded by a major or a captain. 6 a group of Guides.
v. (-ies, -ied) 1 tr. archaic accompany. 2 intr. literary (often foll. by with) be a companion. company officer a captain or a lower commissioned officer. company Sergeant-major see SERGEANT. err (or be) in good company discover that one's companions, or better people, have done the same as oneself. good (or bad) company 1 a pleasant (or dull) companion. 2 a suitable (or unsuitable) associate or group of friends. in company not alone. in company with together with. keep company (often foll. by with) associate habitually. keep (archaic bear) a person company accompany a person; be sociable. part company (often foll. by with) cease to associate. ship's company the entire crew.
[ ME f. AF compainie, OF compai(g)nie f. Rmc (as COMPANION(1)) ]