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emprise


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 12, 2021 is:

emprise • em-PRYZE  • noun

: an adventurous, daring, or chivalric enterprise

Examples:

“But perhaps he was the only one courageous enough to voice an opinion that others might have shared, but were afraid to say, that this whole quixotic emprise had been a bad idea, that they had been fools to attempt an escape.” — John D. Lukacs, Escape From Davao, 2010

“Applied to any other creature than the Leviathan—to an ant or a flea—such portly terms might justly be deemed unwarrantably grandiloquent. But when Leviathan is the text, the case is altered. Fain am I to stagger to this emprise under the weightiest words of the dictionary.” — Herman Melville, Moby Dick, 1851

Did you know?

Someone who engages in emprises undertakes much, and the word became established in English with the chivalrous undertakings of brave knights. 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): “There was a knight that loved and went through pains / To serve a lady in his best way; / And many a labor, many a great emprise, / He wrought for his lady before she was won.”

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