From Middle English companion, from Old French compaignon (“companion”) (modern French compagnon), from Late Latin compāniōn- (nominative singular compāniō, whence French copain), 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.
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companion (plural companions)
- A friend, acquaintance, or partner; someone with whom one spends time or keeps company
- His dog has been his trusted companion for the last five years.
- Here are your sons again; and I must lose / Two of the sweetest companions in the world.
- (dated) A person employed to accompany or travel with another.
- (nautical) The framework on the quarterdeck of a sailing ship through which daylight entered the cabins below.
- (nautical) The covering of a hatchway on an upper deck which leads to the companionway; the stairs themselves.
- (topology) A knot in whose neighborhood another, specified knot meets every meridian disk.
- (figuratively) A thing or phenomenon that is closely associated with another thing, phenomenon, or person.
- (astronomy) A celestial object that is associated with another.
- A knight of the lowest rank in certain orders.
- a companion of the Bath
- (obsolete, derogatory) A fellow.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
- See also Wikisaurus:friend