) KEY NOUN:
- An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.
- A business organization.
- Industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed toward profit: Private enterprise is basic to capitalism.
- Willingness to undertake new ventures; initiative: "Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs" (Henry David Thoreau).
Middle English, from Old French entreprise
, from past participle of entreprendre
, to undertake
(from Latin inter-
; see inter-
) + prendre
, to take
(from Latin prehendere, prndere
; see ghend-
in Indo-European roots)OTHER FORMS:enter·priser(Noun)