American English

Definition of company noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. companies)
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  1. 1[countable] (abbreviation Co.) (often in names) a business organization that makes money by producing or selling goods or services the largest computer company in the world the National Bus Company She joined the company in 2009. Mike gets a company car with his new job (= one that the company pays for). Company profits were 5% lower than last year. He runs his own TV production company. company policy Topic CollocationsBusinessrunning a business buy/acquire/own/sell a company/firm/franchise set up/establish/start/start up/launch a business/company run/operate a business/company/franchise head/run a firm/department/team make/secure/win/lose/block a deal expand/grow/build the business boost/increase investment/spending/sales/turnover/earnings/exports/trade increase/expand production/output/sales boost/maximize production/productivity/efficiency/income/revenue/profit/profitability achieve/maintain/sustain growth/profitability cut/reduce/bring down/lower/slash costs/prices announce/impose/make cuts/cutbackssales and marketing break into/enter/capture/dominate a market capture/gain/grab/take/win/boost/lose market share identify/find/build/create a market for something start/launch an advertising/a marketing campaign develop/launch/promote a product/Web site estimate/assess/create/generate demand for your product attract/get/retain/keep/help customers/clients drive/generate/boost/increase demand/sales beat/keep ahead of/out-think/outperform/ (informal) stymie the competition meet/reach/exceed/miss sales targetsfinance draw up/set/present/propose/agree on/approve a budget keep to/balance/cut/reduce/slash the budget be/come in below/under/over/within budget generate income/revenue/profit(s)/funds/business fund/finance a campaign/a venture/an expansion/spending/a deficit provide/raise/allocate capital/funds attract/encourage investment/investors recover/recoup costs/losses/an investment/an outlay get/obtain/offer somebody/grant somebody credit/a loan apply for/raise/secure/arrange/provide financingfailure lose business/trade/customers/sales/revenue accumulate/accrue/incur/run up debts suffer/sustain enormous/heavy/serious losses face cuts/a deficit/bankruptcy/a shortfall declare/file for/enter/avoid/escape bankruptcy liquidate a company/a business/assets survive/weather a recession/downturn propose/seek/block/oppose a merger launch/make/accept/contest/defeat a takeover bid
  2. theater/dance
  3. 2(often in names) [countable] a group of people who work or perform together a theater/dance, etc. company the Steppenwolf Theater Company
  4. being with someone
  5. 3[uncountable] the fact of being with someone else and not alone I enjoy Jo's company (= I enjoy being with her). The children are very good company (= pleasant to be with) at this age. a pleasant evening in the company of friends He's coming with me for company.
  6. guests
  7. 4[uncountable] guests in your house I didn't realize you had company.
  8. group of people
  9. 5[uncountable] (formal) a group of people together She told the assembled company what had happened. It is bad manners to whisper in company (= in a group of people).
  10. soldiers
  11. 6[countable] a group of soldiers that is part of a battalion
  12. Idioms
    the company somebody keeps
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    the people that someone spends time with Judging by the company he kept, Mark must have been a wealthy man.
    get into/keep bad company
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    to be friends with people that others disapprove of They worried about their teenage son getting into bad company.
    in company with somebody/something (formal)
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    together with or at the same time as someone or something She arrived in company with the ship's captain. The U.S. dollar went through a difficult time, in company with the oil market.
    in good company
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    if you say that someone is in good company, you mean that they should not worry about a mistake, etc. because someone else, especially someone more important, has done the same thing If you worry about your relationship with your teenage son or daughter, you are in good company. Many parents share these worries.
    keep somebody company
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    to stay with someone so that they are not alone I'll keep you company while you're waiting.
      part company (with/from somebody)
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    1. 1to leave someone; to end a relationship with someone This is where we part company (= go in different directions). The band have parted company with their manager. The band and their manager have parted company.
    2. 2to disagree with someone about something Weber parted company with Marx on a number of important issues.
    present company excepted (informal)
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    used after being rude or critical about someone to say that the people you are talking to are not included in the criticism The people in this office are so narrow-minded, present company excepted, of course.
    two's company (, three's a crowd) (saying)
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    used to suggest that it is better to be in a group of only two people than have a third person with you as well
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: company