COMPANION (through the O. Fr. compaignon or compagnon, from the Late Lat. companio, - cum, with, and panis, bread, - one who shares meals with another; the word has been wrongly derived from the Late Lat. compagnus, one of the same pagus or district), a mess-mate or "comrade" (a term which itself has a similar origin, meaning one who shares the same camera or room). "Companion" is particularly used of soldiers, as in the expression "companion in arms," and so is the title of the lowest rank in a military or other order of knighthood; the word is also used of a person who lives with another in a paid position for the sake of company, and is looked on rather as a friend than a servant; and of a pair or match, as of pictures and the like. Similar in ultimate origin but directly adapted from the Fr. chambre de la compagne, and Ital. camera della compagna, the storeroom for provisions on board ship, is the use of "companion" for the framed windows over a hatchway on the deck of a ship, and also for the hooded entrance-stairs to the captain's cabin.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)