The quote would be

"Every man is like the company he is wont to keep."

What is the meaning of "he is wont to keep" in this quote? Merriam-Webster translates wont as accustomed, used or inclined, apt, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

  • You are like the friends and acquaintances you choose to spend time with.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 13:10
  • 1
    wont is in the dictionary.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 21, 2021 at 17:00
  • @Lambie I know that, I even wrote it in the question, if you read it: "Merriam-Webster translates wont as accustomed, used or inclined, apt,...". What is your point with this comment?
    – Xaphanius
    Commented Dec 26, 2021 at 18:35
  • My point is trust the dictionary.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 27, 2021 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


It simply means that "We are (become) like the company we keep". The usage "wont" is an old usage - even though it is still used today. It generally means most often or habitually (i.e. commonly done for any reason - habit, inclination, desire, or forced).



  • Wont may be somewhat old-fashioned, but is live usage in literary and academic use. Saying it is Middle English is misleading.
    – David
    Commented Nov 29, 2021 at 20:04

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