entrepreneur

noun
en·​tre·​pre·​neur | \ ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər How to pronounce entrepreneur (audio) , -ˈn(y)u̇r\

Definition of entrepreneur

: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise

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Other Words from entrepreneur

entrepreneurial \ ˌäⁿn-​trə-​p(r)ə-​ˈn(y)u̇r-​ē-​əl How to pronounce entrepreneurial (audio) , -​ˈnər-​ \ adjective
entrepreneurialism \ ˌäⁿn-​trə-​p(r)ə-​ˈn(y)u̇r-​ē-​ə-​li-​zəm How to pronounce entrepreneurialism (audio) , -​ˈnər-​ \ noun
entrepreneurially \ ˌäⁿn-​trə-​p(r)ə-​ˈn(y)u̇r-​ē-​ə-​lē How to pronounce entrepreneurially (audio) , -​ˈnər-​ \ adverb
entrepreneurship \ ˌäⁿn-​trə-​p(r)ə-​ˈnər-​ˌship How to pronounce entrepreneurship (audio) , -​ˈn(y)u̇r-​ \ noun

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 in 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

The winner is selected by committees comprised of teachers, journalists, officials, entrepreneurs, business leaders and scientists. Aya Batrawy, The Seattle Times, "Kenyan who gave earnings to poor wins $1M teacher prize," 25 Mar. 2019 The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks, and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Detox Diets Aren't Real or Healthy — and Body "Toxins" Don't Exist," 1 Jan. 2019 The city also promised to fund a $200,000 pilot program for the city's young entrepreneurs, as per the men's wishes. Fox News, "Men arrested at Starbucks settle with city for $1, plus promise of $200G entrepreneurship program for students," 2 Oct. 2018 Kylie Jenner, the 20-year-old beauty entrepreneur, made Forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. Lisa Lockwood | Wwd, latimes.com, "Kylie Jenner makes Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women," 11 July 2018 The three-day invitation-only conference, which kicks off on July 16, is an invaluable window into tech entrepreneurs, investors, and trends. Fortune Editors, Fortune, "Watch Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference Livestream," 2 July 2018 What exactly that’s going to look like when it’s done isn’t clear, but entrepreneurs, developers and artists are very much spending there. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Galan’s Meat Market and Deli brings lost art of butchering to Portland," 28 June 2018 By Robert Kurson A true story about a man, blinded at age 2, who grows up to become an accomplished entrepreneur, skier, and family man. Sarah Mupo, STAT, "The 39 best health and science books to read this summer," 25 June 2018 For this crowd, academics, historians, entrepreneurs, and supporters of the arts, that may be enough for right now. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Can Egypt Convince the World That It Is Starting Over?," 19 Mar. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entrepreneur.' 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 entrepreneur

1762, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for entrepreneur

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

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Statistics for entrepreneur

Last Updated

7 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for entrepreneur

The first known use of entrepreneur was in 1762

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More Definitions for entrepreneur

entrepreneur

noun

English Language Learners Definition of entrepreneur

: a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money

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Comments on entrepreneur

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