1. An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.
2. A business organization.
3. Industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed toward profit: Private enterprise is basic to capitalism.
4. 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 : entre-, between (from Latin inter-; see INTER-) + prendre, to take (from Latin prehendere, prēndere; see ghend- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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