entrepreneur

noun

en·​tre·​pre·​neur ˌän-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər How to pronounce entrepreneur (audio)
-ˈn(y)u̇r,
ˌäⁿn-
: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise
entrepreneurship
ˌän-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər-ˌship
-ˈn(y)u̇r- How to pronounce entrepreneur (audio)
ˌäⁿn-
noun

Did you know?

The Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

You might well wonder whether entrepreneur simply means “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money” or whether it carries an additional connotation of far-sightedness and innovation. The answer, perhaps unsatisfyingly, is that it can go in either direction.

Entrepreneur has been used in English to refer to a kind of businessman since at least the middle of the 18th century, when it appeared in translation of the King of Prussia’s instructions for his generals (“. . . if the country happens not to abound in forage, you must agree with some Entrepreneur for the quantity required.”). During the 19th century, it was also used of a go-between or a person who undertakes any kind of activity (as opposed to just a business).

By the early 20th century entrepreneur appears to have taken on the connotation of go-getter when applied to an independent business owner, a quality that may also be found in the phrase entrepreneurial spirit, which began being used at about the same time.

Examples of entrepreneur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each month, its newsletter will highlight the work of a female designer, entrepreneur or craftswomen. Sofia Celeste, WWD, 3 July 2024 Following the backlash on social media, the 36-year-old entrepreneur and TV personality, took to Instagram to address the controversy sparked by her fashion statement. Asia Moore, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2024 Although women are not nearly at gender parity, there are several very successful female chief executives and entrepreneurs who show that women can be a dynamic force in China’s economy. Kathy Castor, Washington Post, 1 July 2024 Summer House: Martha's Vineyard follows a cast of 12 young Black professionals and entrepreneurs during their summer getaway. Jenny Haward, Peoplemag, 29 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for entrepreneur 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'entrepreneur.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

French, from Old French, from entreprendre to undertake — more at enterprise

First Known Use

1762, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of entrepreneur was in 1762

Dictionary Entries Near entrepreneur

Cite this Entry

“Entrepreneur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/entrepreneur. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

entrepreneur

noun
en·​tre·​pre·​neur ˌän-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər How to pronounce entrepreneur (audio)
-ˈn(y)u̇r
: one who organizes, manages, and takes on the risks of a business or enterprise
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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