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See more synonyms for enterprising on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
  2. characterized by great imagination or initiative: an enterprising foreign policy.
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Origin of enterprising

First recorded in 1565–75; enterprise + -ing2
Related formsen·ter·pris·ing·ly, adverbnon·en·ter·pris·ing, adjectiveun·en·ter·pris·ing, adjectiveun·en·ter·pris·ing·ly, adverb


See more synonyms for enterprising on Thesaurus.com
1. venturous, venturesome, resourceful, adventurous.

Synonym study

1. See ambitious.


1. timid, cautious.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for enterprising


  1. ready to embark on new ventures; full of boldness and initiative
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Derived Formsenterprisingly, 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

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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper