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[en-ter-prahy-zing] /ˈɛn tərˌpraɪ zɪŋ/
ready to undertake projects of importance or difficulty, or untried schemes; energetic in carrying out any undertaking:
Business is in need of enterprising young people.
characterized by great imagination or initiative:
an enterprising foreign policy.
Origin of enterprising
1565-75; enterprise + -ing2
Related forms
enterprisingly, adverb
nonenterprising, adjective
unenterprising, adjective
unenterprisingly, adverb
1. venturous, venturesome, resourceful, adventurous. See ambitious.
1. timid, cautious. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for enterprising
  • Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people.
  • enterprising graduate students can and should go to these countries and immerse themselves in their changing politics.
  • It wasn't long before this shocking technology was applied in the field by enterprising researchers.
  • One enterprising student was coming by to collect old cell phones from recycling donations.
  • Migrants are usually enterprising people, who enrich their new countries as well as themselves.
  • Some other enterprising species can also work around dams in their habitats.
  • enterprising companies would likely build small unmanned self-serve battery kiosks as well.
  • What a great to shut down an enterprising student by declaring his business illegal to use.
  • It has, for example, plentiful water resources that an enterprising government would find ways to develop.
  • Any enterprising criminal can do the math on this one.
British Dictionary definitions for enterprising


ready to embark on new ventures; full of boldness and initiative
Derived Forms
enterprisingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for enterprising

"eager to undertake," 1610s, from enterprise. Until mid-19c. (at least in Britain) mostly in a bad sense: "scheming, ambitious, foolhardy." Earlier (1560s) as a verbal noun meaning "action of undertaking."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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