from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A person who accompanies or associates with another; a comrade.
  • n. A domestic partner.
  • n. A person employed to assist, live with, or travel with another.
  • n. One of a pair or set of things; a mate.
  • transitive v. To be a companion to; accompany.
  • n. Nautical A companionway.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A friend, acquaintance, or partner; someone with whom one spends time or keeps company
  • n. A person employed to accompany or travel with another.
  • n. The framework on the quarterdeck of a sailing ship through which daylight entered the cabins below.
  • n. The covering of a hatchway on an upper deck which leads to the companionway; the stairs themselves.
  • n. A knot in whose neighborhood another, specified knot meets every meridian disk.
  • n. A thing or phenomenon that is closely associated with another thing, phenomenon, or person.
  • n. A celestial object that is associated with another.
  • v. To be a companion to; to attend on; to accompany.
  • v. To qualify as a companion; to make equal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who accompanies or is in company with another for a longer or shorter period, either from choice or casually; one who is much in the company of, or is associated with, another or others; an associate; a comrade; a consort; a partner.
  • n. A knight of the lowest rank in certain orders.
  • n. A fellow; -- in contempt.
  • n.
  • n. A skylight on an upper deck with frames and sashes of various shapes, to admit light to a cabin or lower deck.
  • n. A wooden hood or penthouse covering the companion way; a companion hatch.
  • transitive v. To be a companion to; to attend on; to accompany.
  • transitive v. To qualify as a companion; to make equal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be a companion to; accompany.
  • To make equal; put on the same level.
  • To associate or keep company: used with with: as, to companion with vagabonds.
  • A simplified spelling of companion.
  • n. One who accompanies or associates with another, either habitually or casually; one who shares the lot of another; a mate; a comrade.
  • n. A fellow; a worthless person.
  • n. One who holds the lowest rank in an English honorary order: as, a companion of the Bath (abbreviated C. B.), St. Michael and St. George, etc.
  • n. Nautical: The framing and sash-lights on the quarter-deck or round-house, through which light passes to the cabins and deck below.
  • n. A raised hatch or cover to the cabin-stair of a merchant vessel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one paid to accompany or assist or live with another
  • v. be a companion to somebody
  • n. a traveler who accompanies you
  • n. a friend who is frequently in the company of another


Middle English compaignyon, from Old French compaignon, from Vulgar Latin *compāniō, *compāniōn- : Latin com-, com- + Latin pānis, bread; see pā- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English companion, from Old French compaignon ("companion"), from Late Latin compāniōn- (nominative singular compāniō), from com- +‎ pānis (literally, with + bread), a word first attested in the Frankish Lex Salica as a translation of a Germanic word, probably Frankish *galaibo, *gahlaibo (“messmate”, literally "with-bread"), from *hlaib (“loaf, bread”). Compare also Old High German galeipo ("messmate"), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌱𐌰 (gahlaiba, "messmate"), Old Armenian ընկեր (ənker, "friend", literally "messmate"). More at co-, loaf. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Railway telegraphers' shorthand for the phrase "Minimum weight _____ pounds each". --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906. Yours is a little on the heavy side, by the way.

    January 21, 2013

  • Inara Sera: I have to say, this is the first time we've had a preacher on board.
    Book: Well, I wasn't expecting to see a state official either. Ambassador. shakes her hand as Mal laughs. I'm missing something funny.
    Kaylee: Not so funny.
    Inara: Ambassador is Mal's way of—
    Mal: She's a whore, Shep.
    Kaylee: The term is companion.
    - "Serenity," the first episode of Firefly

    December 18, 2007