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.
a plan for such a project.
participation or engagement in such projects: Our country was formed by the enterprise of resolute men and women.
boldness or readiness in undertaking; adventurous spirit; ingenuity.
a company organized for commercial purposes; business firm.
(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.
(initial capital letter, italics) U.S. Aerospace. the first space shuttle, used for atmospheric flight and landing tests.

1400–50; late Middle English < Middle French, noun use of feminine of entrepris (past participle of entreprendre to undertake) < Latin inter- inter- + prēnsus grasped, seized, contraction of prehēnsus, equivalent to pre- pre- + hend- take hold of + -tus past participle suffix

enterpriseless, adjective

1. plan, undertaking, venture. 4. drive, aggressiveness, push, ambition.
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a city in S Alabama.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
enterprise (ˈɛntəˌpraɪz)
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
4.  a.  initiative in business
 b.  (as modifier): the enterprise culture
5.  a business unit; a company or firm
[C15: from Old French entreprise (n), from entreprendre from entre- between (from Latin: inter-) + prendre to take, from Latin prehendere to grasp]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 15c., from M.Fr. enterprise "an undertaking," n. use of fem. pp. of entreprendre "undertake, take in hand," from entre- "between" + prendre "to take." Abstract sense of "readiness to undertake challenges, spirit of daring" is from late 15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Debt's rising profitability attracted capital that otherwise would have been
  invested in other enterprises.
He managed several enterprises and worked full time at his craft without
  benefit of a college education.
Enterprises of the highest importance to our moral and material well-being
  unite us and offer ample employment of our best powers.
Some forget that government paved the way for many creative enterprises in many
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