What does the idiom "part company with" mean?

Idioms are generally defined as groups of words that form a meaningful whole when they come together, even though the words in them do not make sense on their own. They have produced many idioms according to their own cultural characteristics in communities using the English language. What does part company with mean? In what situations is part company with used?

Meaning of "part company with"


The phrase “part company with” is a common idiom which is used to indicate the parting of two people or groups. It is an expression that is used to describe the end of a relationship, whether it be between friends, business partners, or even spouses. This idiom is often used in a situation where the relationship has become strained or difficult to maintain, and it implies that the two sides are parting ways and no longer wish to be in contact.


The phrase “part company with” dates back to the 16th century, when it was a common phrase used by English writers to indicate a separation between people or groups. This expression derives from the Latin phrase “discedere a socio” which translates to “to depart from a companion”. This etymological connection to the Latin language explains the term’s roots, and why it is still used to describe a parting of ways between people or groups to this day.


The phrase “part company with” is commonly used as a way to indicate the ending of a relationship between two people or groups. It is often employed to describe a situation where the two sides have reached an impasse, and are no longer able to work together effectively. It can also be used to describe a high-stakes situation such as a divorce, or a corporate merger. In either case, the phrase “part company with” implies a finality in the relationship, and indicates that the two sides are no longer in contact.

Example Sentences

  • After years of working together, the two business partners decided it was time to part company with each other.
  • The couple had reached a point where they could no longer reconcile their differences and were forced to part company with one another.
  • The shareholders voted to part company with the CEO, citing his inability to lead the company in the right direction.

The meanings of the words in the "part company with" idiom

From One Language to Another: Idioms in Translation

Translating idioms from one language to another can be a tricky task, as the cultural context behind an idiom can be difficult to capture. For example, the French phrase "avoir le cafard" translates to "to have the cockroach," which means to feel down or depressed. Similarly, the Chinese idiom "????" (j?ng d? zh? w?) translates to "frog at the bottom of a well," which refers to someone with a narrow view of the world.


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