[ kuhm-pan-yuhn ]
/ kəmˈpæn yən /


verb (used with object)

to be a companion to; accompany.

Origin of companion

1250–1300; Middle English compainoun < Anglo-French; Old French compaignon < Late Latin compāniōn- (stem of compāniō) messmate, equivalent to com- com- + pān(is) bread + -iōn- -ion; presumably as translation of a Gmc word; compare Gothic gahlaiba, Old High German galeipo

synonym study for companion

1. See acquaintance.


com·pan·ion·less, adjective un·com·pan·ioned, adjective

Definition for companion (2 of 2)

companion 2
[ kuh m-pan-yuh n ]
/ kəmˈpæn yən /

noun Nautical.

a covering over the top of a companionway.

Origin of companion

1755–65; alteration of Dutch kampanje quarterdeck < French ( chambre de la) compagne pantry of a medieval galley


What does companion mean?

A companion is a person who frequently spends time with you, associates with you, or accompanies you when you go places.

Pets are also commonly considered companions.

The word companion implies that you spend a lot of time together. A person you call a companion can be a friend or a romantic partner. A travel companion is someone you travel with.

Companionship is the state of spending time with someone or having someone to spend time with—the state of having a companion or being someone’s companion.

Sometimes, a hired helper is called a companion, especially when they help to take care of an older person.

Companion is sometimes also used to refer to a thing that accompanies or complements something else, such as in the phrase companion piece, which often refers to an artistic work that pairs well with another work. More specifically, a companion refers to a handbook, guidebook, or field guide (the word is especially used in the titles of such books).

In astronomy, companion is used in a more specific way to refer to a companion star—the less bright star in a set of stars called a double star. (The brighter star is called the primary.)

Example: People make fun of older people for using dating sites, but the truth is that a lot of them are just lonely and looking for a companion.

Where does companion come from?

The first records of the word companion come from around 1300. It comes from a Late Latin word meaning “one who eats bread with another,” from the parts com-, “with,” and pānis, “bread.” The word company is based on the same roots.

A companion is someone who you spend time with, who’s often by your side. A companion can be a close friend or someone with whom you share a more intimate relationship, such as a sibling or partner. When people describe themselves as seeking a companion on a dating app, it typically means they’re looking for a romantic partner to spend a lot of time with, especially to enjoy the same activities together. Pets are often called companions since they’re often by our side and keep us company.

When something is called a companion to something else, it typically means the two things go together in some way. A certain book might be called a companion piece to another book when the two have the same themes or are similar in some other way. A certain food or drink can be called a companion to another when the two pair well together.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to companion?

  • companionship (noun)
  • companionless (adjective)
  • uncompanioned (adjective)

What are some synonyms for companion?

What are some words that share a root or word element with companion



What are some words that often get used in discussing companion?


How is companion used in real life?

Companion is often used when talking about human relationships, but it can also be applied to pets and things.



Try using companion!

Which of the following people could be considered a companion?

A. friend
B. partner
C. sibling
D. all of the above

Example sentences from the Web for companion

British Dictionary definitions for companion (1 of 2)

companion 1
/ (kəmˈpænjən) /



(tr) to accompany or be a companion to

Derived forms of companion

companionless, adjective

Word Origin for companion

C13: from Late Latin compāniō, literally: one who eats bread with another, from Latin com- with + pānis bread

British Dictionary definitions for companion (2 of 2)

companion 2
/ (kəmˈpænjən) /


  1. a raised frame on an upper deck with windows to give light to the deck below
  2. (as modifier)a companion ladder

Word Origin for companion

C18: from Dutch kompanje quarterdeck, from Old French compagne, from Old Italian compagna pantry, perhaps ultimately from Latin pānis bread