Etymology
Advertisement
company (n.)

mid-12c., "large group of people," from Old French compagnie "society, friendship, intimacy; body of soldiers" (12c.), from Late Latin companio, literally "bread fellow, messmate," from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + panis "bread," from PIE root *pa- "to feed." Abbreviation co. dates from 1670s. 

Meaning "companionship, consort of persons one with another, intimate association" is from late 13c. Meaning "person or persons associated with another in any way" is from c. 1300. In Middle English the word also could mean "sexual union, intercourse" (c. 1300).

From late 14c. as "a number of persons united to perform or carry out anything jointly," which developed a commercial sense of "business association" by 1550s, the word having been used in reference to trade guilds from late 14c. Meaning "subdivision of an infantry regiment" (in 19c. usually 60 to 100 men, commanded by a captain) is from c. 1400. 

Meaning "person or persons with whom one voluntarily associates" is from c. 1600; phrase keep company "consort" is from 1560s (bear company in the same sense is from c. 1300). Expression two's company "two persons are just right" (for conversation, etc.), is attested from 1849; the following line varies: but three is none (or not), 1849; three's trumpery (1864); three's a crowd (1856). 

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
water (n.2)

measure of quality of a diamond, c. 1600, from water (n.1), perhaps as a translation of Arabic ma' "water," which also is used in the sense "luster, splendor."

Related entries & more 
water (n.1)
Origin and meaning of water

Old English wæter, from Proto-Germanic *watr- (source also of Old Saxon watar, Old Frisian wetir, Dutch water, Old High German wazzar, German Wasser, Old Norse vatn, Gothic wato "water"), from PIE *wod-or, suffixed form of root *wed- (1) "water; wet."

To keep (one's) head above water in the figurative sense is recorded from 1742. Water cooler is recorded from 1846; water polo from 1884; water torture from 1928. Linguists believe PIE had two root words for water: *ap- and *wed-. The first (preserved in Sanskrit apah as well as Punjab and julep) was "animate," referring to water as a living force; the latter referred to it as an inanimate substance. The same probably was true of fire (n.).

Related entries & more 
water (v.)
Origin and meaning of water
Old English wæterian "moisten, irrigate, supply water to; lead (cattle) to water;" from water (n.1). Meaning "to dilute" is attested from late 14c.; now usually as water down (1850). To make water "urinate" is recorded from early 15c. Related: Watered; watering.
Related entries & more 
water-moccasin (n.)
type of snake in the U.S. South, 1821, from water (n.1) + moccasin (q.v.).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
water-closet (n.)
"privy with a waste-pipe and means to carry off the discharge by a flush of water," 1755, from water (n.1) + closet (n.).
Related entries & more 
rose-water (n.)

late 14c., "water tinctured with oil of roses by distillation," from rose (n.1) + water (n.1). Symbolic of affected delicacy or sentimentalism. Similar formation in Middle Dutch rosenwater, Dutch rozenwater, German Rosenwasser.

Related entries & more 
hot water (n.)
c. 1400, literal; 1530s in figurative sense of "trouble." See hot (adj.) + water (n.1). Hot-water bottle is from 1895.
Related entries & more 
water-ice (n.)
"sugared water, flavored and frozen," 1818, from water (n.1) + ice (n.).
Related entries & more