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enterprise Line breaks: en¦ter|prise
Pronunciation: /ˈɛntəprʌɪz/

Definition of enterprise in English:


1A project or undertaking, especially a bold or complex one: a joint enterprise between French and Japanese companies
More example sentences
  • So bold an enterprise, so boldly undertaken, is bound to provoke not merely thought but dissent.
  • The cases tend to talk in terms of there being a joint enterprise, or pre-arranged plan or talk of the accused acting in concert.
  • It is at this point that the idea of a joint enterprise, be it marital or based on cohabitation, becomes crucial.
undertaking, endeavour, venture, pursuit, exercise, activity, operation, exploit, mission, deed, act, action, move, measure, task, business, affair, proceeding;
scheme, plan, plan of action, programme, campaign;
project, proposal, proposition, suggestion, idea, conception
informal caper
British informal wheeze
1.1 [mass noun] Initiative and resourcefulness: success came quickly, thanks to a mixture of talent, enterprise, and luck
More example sentences
  • Sometimes, however, it can take a little initiative and enterprise to secure municipal services for the village.
  • I knew from an early age what that comfort depended on: diligence, enterprise and initiative.
  • As a result, initiative, enterprise, and valor are once again at a premium.
initiative, resourcefulness, resource, imagination, imaginativeness, ingenuity, inventiveness, originality, creativity;
quick-wittedness, cleverness, native wit, talent, ability, capability;
spirit, spiritedness, enthusiasm, dynamism, leadership, drive, zest, dash, ambition, ambitiousness, energy, verve, vigour, vitality;
boldness, daring, spirit of adventure, audacity, courage, intrepidity
informal gumption, get-up-and-go, go, push, oomph, pizzazz, pep, zip, vim
2A business or company: a state-owned enterprise
More example sentences
  • Few local State-owned and private enterprises call the headhunting companies for help.
  • It is a commercial enterprise which invites business from the public in terms of sales, parts, servicing and works.
  • Tucked away behind this traditional front is a different enterprise producing an impressive business performance.
business, company, firm, (commercial) undertaking, venture, organization, operation, concern, industry, corporation, establishment, house, shop, office, bureau, agency, franchise, practice, partnership, consortium, cooperative, conglomerate, group, combine, syndicate
informal outfit, set-up
2.1 [mass noun] Entrepreneurial economic activity: an economic environment which encourages enterprise [as modifier]: local enterprise agencies
More example sentences
  • Equally clear is the need to support and develop local enterprise and entrepreneurship.
  • Here is an agency set up to encourage local enterprise, which is using public funds to further a policy of land distribution.
  • The funding will benefit local groups and encourage enterprise.


Example sentences
  • When workers and enterprisers combine their skills, savings, and inventiveness to produce goods and services, these are precisely the efforts that are penalized by current fiscal policies.
  • Industrial booms periodically gave way to industrial collapse, with workers and enterprisers alike suffering from the breakdown.
  • But media companies that dominate a market have little incentive to spend money on enterprisers and investigations.


Late Middle English: from Old French, 'something undertaken', feminine past participle (used as a noun) of entreprendre, based on Latin prendere, prehendere 'to take'.

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