Company most often implies a group, whether it be a group of people, a unit of firefighters, a small group of soldiers, or a group working for the same business.

Company can also refer to a visitor, often for dinner. This usage is both singular and plural, so if your mom says "there's company coming for dinner," you will need to know how many places to set at the table. There are more than a few idioms using the word company. When you are with someone, you “keep company” with them. For the more dour, there is “misery loves company."

Primary Meanings of company

an institution created to conduct business
a band of people associated temporarily in some activity
the state of being with someone
be a companion to somebody
Full Definitions of company

n an institution created to conduct business

“he only invests in large well-established companies
“he started the company in his garage”
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broadcasting company
a company that manages tv or radio stations
bureau de change
(French) an establishment where you can exchange foreign money
auto company, car company
a company that makes and sells automobiles
dot com, dot com company, dot-com
a company that operates its business primarily on the internet using a URL that ends in `.com'
drug company, pharma, pharmaceutical company
a company that makes and sells pharmaceuticals
East India Company
an English company formed in 1600 to develop trade with the new British colonies in India and southeastern Asia; in the 18th century it assumed administrative control of Bengal and held it until the British army took over in 1858 after the Indian Mutiny
electronics company
a company that makes and sells electronic instruments
film company
a company that makes, advertises, and distributes movies
food company
a company that processes and sells food
furniture company
a company that sells furniture
mining company
a company that owns and manages mines
shipping company
a company that provides shipping services
steel company
a company that makes and sells steel
subsidiary, subsidiary company
a company that is completely controlled by another company
transportation company
a company providing transportation
a company that markets merchandise
oil company
a company that sells oil
packaging company, packaging concern
a company that packages goods for sale or shipment or storage
pipeline company
a company that operates oil pipelines for the oil industry
printing business, printing company, printing concern
a company that does commercial printing
corporate investor
a company that invests in (acquires control of) other companies
takeover target, target company
a company that has been chosen as attractive for takeover by a potential acquirer
white knight
a company that is a friendly acquirer in a takeover
Ld., Ltd., limited company
a company that is organized to give its owners limited liability
holding company
a company with controlling shares in other companies
a company or agency that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
livery company
one of the chartered companies of London originating with the craft guilds
open shop
a company whose workers are hired without regard to their membership in a labor union
closed shop
a company that hires only union members
union shop
a company allowed to hire nonunion workers on the condition that they will join the union within a specified time
stock company
a company whose capital is represented by stock
joint-stock company
a company (usually unincorporated) which has the capital of its members pooled in a common fund; transferable shares represent ownership interest; shareholders are legally liable for all debts of the company
record company
a company that makes and sells musical recordings
mover, moving company, public mover, removal company, removal firm
a company that moves the possessions of a family or business from one site to another
think factory, think tank
a company that does research for hire and issues reports on the implications
a company in the business of shipping freight
an independent film company not associated with an established studio
trucking company
a company that ships goods or possessions by truck
direct mailer
a distributor who uses direct mail to sell merchandise
retail chain
a chain of retail stores
a corporate investor who intends to take over a company by buying a controlling interest in its stock and installing new management
sleeping beauty
a potential takeover target that has not yet been put in play
white squire
a white knight that buys less than a majority interest
bank holding company
a holding company owning or controlling one or more banks
public utility, public utility company, public-service corporation, utility
a company that performs a public service; subject to government regulation
bus company, bus service
a public utility providing local transportation
Type of:
establishment, institution
an organization founded and united for a specific purpose

n a band of people associated temporarily in some activity

“the company of cooks walked into the kitchen”
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fatigue party
a group of soldiers on fatigue duty
landing party
a part of a ship's company organized for special duties ashore
party to the action, party to the transaction
a party of people taking a role in legal proceedings
rescue party
a party of rescuers
search party
a party of people to search for someone
stretcher party
a party of people with stretchers to carry an injured person
war party
a band of warriors who raid or fight an enemy (used especially of Native Americans)
Type of:
band, circle, lot, set
an unofficial association of people or groups

n organization of performers and associated personnel (especially theatrical)

“the traveling company all stayed at the same hotel”
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opera company
a company that produces operas
theater company
a company that produces plays
ballet company
a company that produces ballets
Greek chorus, chorus
a company of actors who comment (by speaking or singing in unison) on the action in a classical Greek play
a travelling company of entertainers; including trained animals
minstrel show
a troupe of performers in blackface typically giving a comic program of negro songs and jokes
a troupe of minstrels
repertory company, stock company
a theatrical company that performs plays from a repertoire
Type of:
organisation, organization
a group of people who work together

n a unit of firefighters including their equipment

“a hook-and-ladder company
Type of:
social unit, unit
an organization regarded as part of a larger social group

n small military unit; usually two or three platoons

a company of militia in England or America from the 16th century to the 18th century
Type of:
army unit
a military unit that is part of an army

n crew of a ship including the officers; the whole force or personnel of a ship

ship's company
Type of:
complement, full complement
number needed to make up a whole force

n the state of being with someone

“he missed their company
companionship, fellowship, society
a natural or instinctive fellowship between people of similar interests
Type of:
friendly relationship, friendship
the state of being friends (or friendly)

n a social gathering of guests or companions

“the house was filled with company when I arrived”
the number of people that are present
a company of companions or supporters
a select company of people
Type of:
social affair, social gathering
a gathering for the purpose of promoting fellowship

n a social or business visitor

“the room was a mess because he hadn't expected company
Type of:
visitant, visitor
someone who visits

v be a companion to somebody

accompany, companion, keep company
Type of:
affiliate, associate, assort, consort
keep company with; hang out with

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