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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 calque of a Germanic word, probably Frankish *galaibo, *gahlaibō (messmate, literally with-bread), from Proto-Germanic *gahlaibô. Compare also Old High German galeipo (messmate) and Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌷𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌱𐌰 (gahlaiba, messmate); and, for the semantics, compare Old Armenian ընկեր (ənker, friend, literally messmate). More at co-, loaf. Displaced native Old English ġefēra.


  • IPA(key): /kəmˈpænjən/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: com‧pan‧ion
  • Rhymes: -ænjən


companion (plural companions)

  1. A friend, acquaintance, or partner; someone with whom one spends time or accompanies
    His dog has been his trusted companion for the last five years.
  2. (dated) A person employed to accompany or travel with another.
  3. (nautical) The framework on the quarterdeck of a sailing ship through which daylight entered the cabins below.
  4. (nautical) The covering of a hatchway on an upper deck which leads to the companionway; the stairs themselves.
  5. (topology) A knot in whose neighborhood another, specified knot meets every meridian disk.
  6. (figuratively) A thing or phenomenon that is closely associated with another thing, phenomenon, or person.
  7. (attributive) An appended source of media or information, designed to be used in conjunction with and to enhance the main material.
    The companion guide gives an in-depth analysis of this particular translation.
  8. (astronomy) A celestial object that is associated with another.
  9. A knight of the lowest rank in certain orders.
    a companion of the Bath
  10. (obsolete, derogatory) A fellow; a rogue.


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companion (third-person singular simple present companions, present participle companioning, simple past and past participle companioned)

  1. (obsolete) To be a companion to; to attend on; to accompany.
    • 1865, John Ruskin, Precious Thoughts
      we had better turn south quickly and compare the elements of education which formed , and of creation which companioned , Salvator .
  2. (obsolete) To qualify as a companion; to make equal.



From French compagnon.


companion m (plural companioni)

  1. companion