I have found a word that I would like to use as an alternative to Entrepreneur. The word is "Enterpriser" which appears as a synonym in Google for entrepreneur.

In my social/cultural experience 'entrepreneur' has some negative associations/connotations. (see below)

This article by Steve Tobak expresses the feeling that the word 'Entrepreneur' gives me.

The problem is that entrepreneurs and leaders have another thing in common: Neither one is actually a job. And that might very well explain why Millennials have all the makings of a great entrepreneurial generation but have failed to deliver on that promise.

Not a real job, failure to deliver, failure on promises.

Personal experience of the same people has not helped the stereotype from my personal point of view, although that is irrelevant to the question at hand. It just means that I would not want to use the word to describe myself.

Now I've been looking for a definition to the word "enterpriser", I've done pretty average research to be totally honest (check the meta question below); but being a very average English person, my research skills are lacking.

  • Can I get a definition for the word "Enterpriser"?
  • Can I get permutation of the word, so applicable tenths, single, plural... anything.

The Way I Think It Would Be Defined:

"Enter" -> To go into
"Prise" -> Comes from Latin prendere, prehendere ‘to take’.
"Enterprise" -> To undertake something || A Business || Starting something new for gain
"Enterpriser" -> A person ~ go into ~ an undertaking

I know it's impossible to have a 'works in all situations' drop in replacement for a word, but I would hope to apply this in the same context as entrepreneur would normally be used.

I'm struggling to find a sentence where the sound of the word works, so maybe there's a permutation of the word that might be better. But here's my best couple of tries

Title: "Developer, Enterpris(er)/(ing), Manager"
Sentence "The person who started X was a real enterpriser"

And yes they sound really dumb, I'm not unaware of it. But I'm really really looking for a word that is not entrepreneur, but can be used as its alternative, and wondering can enterprise be manipulated to be grammatically correct. Even though I'm able to massage the word into being a 'technically' acceptable 'mash' of words, it would be really great to get a fix on the meaning of the word (if it 'really' does already exist) and get a handle on its grammatical forms.

I've googled synonyms of entrepreneur, found enterpriser is listed as a synonym. Looked for enterpriser without success, online dictionaries don't have a listing for it (And I don't own a physical dictionary), Thesaurus for enterprise brings up a few options but they all 'feel' like they are heading away from the root that I am trying to get at. Looked at the root of the words but can't hammer out something that is both technically and grammatically correct.

(Had a discussion on Meta about this question, Link for those who take interest: Asked Question, Got closed. Seems to meet with Guidelines, how to re-ask)

closed as primarily opinion-based by FumbleFingers, P. O., tchrist Jan 15 '17 at 2:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – tchrist Jan 11 '17 at 16:32

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has


Etymology: < enterprise v. + -er suffix

One who attempts an undertaking. Const. of, in. †Also in bad sense, an adventurer.

The definition has not been updated since the first edition (1891). Two examples:

1751 S. Richardson Clarissa (ed. 3) I. xix. 125 The attempts of Enterprisers and Fortune-seekers.

1830 R. Chambers Life James I I. iii. 93 An enterpriser in the great and hazardous schemes.

The dagger (†) indicates obsolete, so the "bad sense" is supposed to be obsolete. But verification of this would depend on searching Google books and looking at recent examples (how recent is up to you).

I don't share your opinion that entrepreneur has negative connotations.

  • Wouldn’t that OED entry for ‘enterpriser’ apply as much to ‘adventurer’ as it does to ‘entrepreneur’? Aren’t any ‘negative associations/connotations’ in fact hangovers from ‘enterpriser’? Is it not true that ‘entrepreneur’ so strongly implies success, the lack thereof belongs only to a ‘would-be entrepreneur’; that a ‘failed entrepreneur’ applies not to one wise first venture fails but only to one whose second or subsequent projects fail so badly as to wipe out all that went before? – Robbie Goodwin Jan 24 '17 at 21:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.