Saturday, February 12, 2011

Word of the Day 2/12/2011

Emprise (noun): an adventurous, daring, or chivalric enterprise

Example: The poet Rupert Brooke, in an elegy to the passing of youth, lamented the loss of "high emprise and ventures dear."

Did You Know?: Someone who engages in emprises undertakes much, so it's no surprise that "emprise" descends from the Anglo-French word "emprendre," meaning "to undertake." It's also no surprise that "emprise" became established in English during the 13th century, a time when brave knights engaged in many a chivalrous undertaking. Fourteenth-century author Geoffrey Chaucer used "emprise" to describe one such knight in "The Franklin's Tale" (one of the stories in The Canterbury Tales): "Ther was a knyght that loved and dide his payne / To serve a lady in his beste wise; / And many labour, many a greet emprise, / He for his lady wroghte er she were wonne."

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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