noun, plural en·tre·pre·neurs [ahn-truh-pruhnurz, –noo rz; French ahn-truh-pruhnœr] /ˌɑn trə prəˈnɜrz, -ˈnʊərz; French ɑ̃ trə prəˈnœr/.

  1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
  2. an employer of productive labor; contractor.

verb (used with object)

  1. to deal with or initiate as an entrepreneur.

verb (used without object)

  1. to act as an entrepreneur.


  1. the owner or manager of a business enterprise who, by risk and initiative, attempts to make profits
  2. a middleman or commercial intermediary

1828, “manager or promoter of a theatrical production,” reborrowing of French entrepreneur “one who undertakes or manages,” agent noun from Old French entreprendre “undertake” (see enterprise). The word first crossed the Channel late 15c. but did not stay. Meaning “business manager” is from 1852. Related: Entrepreneurship.

One who starts a business or other venture that promises economic gain but that also entails risks.

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