[com.pa.ny] n, pl -nies often attrib [ME companie, fr. OF compagnie, fr. compain companion, fr. LL companio] (13c) 1 a: association with another: fellowship "enjoy a person's ~" b: companions, associates "know a person by the ~ she keeps" c: visitors, guests "having ~ for dinner"
2. a: a group of persons or things "a ~ of horsemen" b: a body of soldiers; esp: a unit (as of infantry) consisting usu. of a headquarters and two or more platoons c: an organization of performing artists d: the officers and crew of a ship e: a fire-fighting unit 3 a: a chartered commercial organization or medieval trade guild b: an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise c: those members of a partnership firm whose names do not appear in the firm name "John Doe and Company"
company vb -nied ; -ny.ing vt (14c): accompany "may ... fair winds ~ your safe return --John Masefield" ~ vi: associate