1. a project undertaken or to be undertaken, especially one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy: To keep the peace is a difficult enterprise.
  2. a plan for such a project.
  3. participation or engagement in such projects: Our country was formed by the enterprise of resolute men and women.
  4. boldness or readiness in undertaking; adventurous spirit; ingenuity.
  5. a company organized for commercial purposes; business firm.
  6. (initial capital letter) Military. the first nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier, commissioned in 1961, with a displacement of 89,000 tons (80,723 metric tons) and eight reactors.
  7. (initial capital letter, italics) U.S. Aerospace. the first space shuttle, used for atmospheric flight and landing tests.


  1. a city in S Alabama.


  1. a project or undertaking, esp one that requires boldness or effort
  2. participation in such projects
  3. readiness to embark on new ventures; boldness and energy
    1. initiative in business
    2. (as modifier)the enterprise culture
  4. a business unit; a company or firm

early 15c., “an undertaking,” from Old French enterprise “an undertaking,” noun use of fem. past participle of entreprendre “undertake, take in hand,” from entre- “between” (see entre-) + prendre “to take,” contraction of prehendere (see prehensile). Abstract sense of “readiness to undertake challenges, spirit of daring” is from late 15c.

see free enterprise.

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