en·​ter·​prise | \ ˈen-tər-ˌprīz How to pronounce enterprise (audio) , ˈen-tə-ˌprīz \

Definition of enterprise

1 : a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky
2a : a unit of economic organization or activity especially : a business organization
b : a systematic purposeful activity agriculture is the main economic enterprise among these people
3 : readiness to engage in daring or difficult action : initiative showed great enterprise in dealing with the crisis

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Examples of enterprise in a Sentence

Moving the drilling rig offshore was a costly enterprise. Agriculture is the main economic enterprise among these people. When he purchased the company it was a thriving commercial enterprise. He was criticized for his lack of enterprise in dealing with the crisis.
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Recent Examples on the Web Per Forbes, the list is based on the company's valuations of the franchise that are based on enterprise values (equity plus debt) and current stadium deals. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Cardinals on list of most valuable sports teams in the world," 4 Aug. 2020 Microsoft’s track record in the social-media market has been mixed, as the company has tended to favor the enterprise and business space. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Trump's 'key money' request complicates Microsoft-TikTok deal," 3 Aug. 2020 Against all odds, this shakily constructed enterprise held together and even thrived for a time. David Reamer, Anchorage Daily News, "The short rise and fall of the Northern Knights: Anchorage’s first professional sports team," 2 Aug. 2020 The Council voted in favor of including an amendment in the bill that would allocate $24.6 million to the enterprise. USA TODAY, "NYC taxis, Fisher Cats, casinos: News from around our 50 states," 31 July 2020 Season 3 had found Wendy becoming a shark in a pond, taking the reins of the Byrde criminal enterprise, and getting in a dangerous entanglement with their drug lord boss. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "Ozark stars Laura Linney and Tom Pelphrey on Wendy and Ben's 'great tragedy': 'I was just crying'," 13 July 2020 Every farmer is different, so Black Soil's approach in assisting each enterprise varies. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "Less than 2% of Kentucky farms are Black-owned. This company is trying to change that," 10 July 2020 Which means everyone associated with this enterprise will try every which way to field a team within the next school year. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh knows this: If his players can wear a mask, so can you," 9 July 2020 State and federal funds have since padded the enterprise. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Plan for high-speed rail rolls out for San Francisco to San Jose — but with little cash," 9 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enterprise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of enterprise

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for enterprise

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from entreprendre to undertake, from entre- inter- + prendre to take — more at prize

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Time Traveler for enterprise

Time Traveler

The first known use of enterprise was in the 15th century

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Statistics for enterprise

Last Updated

7 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enterprise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enterprise. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for enterprise


How to pronounce enterprise (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of enterprise

: a project or activity that involves many people and that is often difficult
: a business organization
: the ability or desire to do dangerous or difficult things or to solve problems in new ways


en·​ter·​prise | \ ˈen-tər-ˌprīz How to pronounce enterprise (audio) \

Kids Definition of enterprise

1 : a project or undertaking that is difficult, complicated, or risky
2 : willingness to engage in daring or difficult action Look at the opportunities here for a man of knowledge, brains, pluck, and enterprise— Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee
3 : a business organization or activity


en·​ter·​prise | \ ˈen-tər-ˌprīz How to pronounce enterprise (audio) \

Legal Definition of enterprise

: an economic organization or activity especially : a business organization

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