early 15c., "a beginning, a starting," from Old French inception and directly from Latin inceptionem (nominative inceptio) "a beginning; an undertaking," noun of action from past-participle stem of incipere "begin, take in hand," from in- "in, on" (from PIE root *en "in") + -cipere, combining form of capere "take, seize," from PIE root *kap- "to grasp."
1620s, "council or body of representatives," from French syndicat (15c.), from syndic "representative of a corporation" (see syndic) + -at (see -ate (1)). Meaning "combination of capitalists or companies to carry out some commercial undertaking" first occurs 1865. Publishing sense of "association of publishers for purchasing articles, etc., for simultaneous publication in a number of newspapers" is from 1889. As a synonym for "organized crime, the Mob" it is recorded from 1929.
c. 1300, "chivalrous endeavor," from Old French emprise (12c.) "enterprise, venture, adventure, undertaking," from Vulgar Latin *imprensa (source of Provenal empreza, Spanish empresa, Italian impresa), from *imprendere "to undertake," from in- (from PIE root *en "in") + prehendere "to take" (from prae-"before," see pre-, + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take"). Archaic in English; in French now with a literal sense "a hold, a grip."
early 15c., assisten, "to help, aid, give assistance or support to in some undertaking or effort," from Old French assister "to stand by, help, put, place, assist" (14c.), from Latin assistere "stand by, take a stand near, attend," from assimilated form of ad "to" (see ad-) + sistere "stand still, take a stand; to set, place, cause to stand" (from PIE *si-st-, reduplicated form of root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Related: Assisted; assisting. Medical assisted suicide is attested by 1884.
"one who organizes public entertainments," 1746, from Italian impresario "operatic manager," literally "undertaker (of a business)," from impresa "undertaking, enterprise, attempt," fem. of impreso, past participle of imprendere "undertake," from Vulgar Latin *imprendere, from assimilated form of Latin in- "into, in, on, onto" (from PIE root *en "in") + Latin prehendere "to grasp" (from prae- "before;" see pre-, + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take").
late 14c., "fulfill, perform, carry out an undertaking," from Old French acompliss-, present-participle stem of acomplir "to fulfill, fill up, complete" (12c., Modern French accomplir), from Vulgar Latin *accomplere, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + complere "to fill up," transferred to "fulfill, finish (a task)," from com-, here probably as an intensive prefix (see com-), + plere "to fill" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill"). Related: Accomplished; accomplishing.
mid-14c., proposicioun, "a riddle" (a sense now obsolete); late 14c., in rhetoric, "a setting forth as a topic for discussion or discourse," from Old French proposicion "proposal, submission, (philosophical) proposition" (12c.), from Latin propositionem (nominative propositio) "a setting forth, statement, a presentation, representation; fundamental assumption," noun of action from past-participle stem of proponere "put forth, set forth, lay out, display, expose to view" (see propound). Meaning "action of proposing something to be done, an offered plan of action," is from late 14c. General sense of "matter, problem, undertaking" recorded by 1877. Related: Propositional; propositionally.
1680s (in hump-backed), of uncertain origin; perhaps from Dutch homp "lump," from Middle Low German hump "bump," from Proto-Germanic *hump-, from PIE *kemb- "to bend, turn, change, exchange" (see change (v.)). Replaced, or perhaps influenced by, crump, from Old English crump.
A meaning attested from 1901 is "mound in a railway yard over which cars must be pushed," which might be behind the figurative sense of "critical point of an undertaking" (1914). By 1957, hump day was in use in reference to the mid-point of a training program or course; it was extended to "Wednesday," as the mid-point of the work-week, by 1987.
c. 1200, aventure, auenture "that which happens by chance, fortune, luck," from Old French aventure (11c.) "chance, accident, occurrence, event, happening," from Latin adventura (res) "(a thing) about to happen," from fem. of adventurus, future participle of advenire "to come to, reach, arrive at." This is from ad "to" (see ad-) + venire "to come" (from a suffixed form of PIE root *gwa- "to go, come").
The meaning developed through "risk; danger" (a trial of one's chances), c. 1300, and "perilous undertaking" (late 14c.) to "novel or exciting incident, remarkable occurrence in one's life" (1560s).
Earlier it also meant "a wonder, a miracle; accounts of marvelous things" (13c.). The -d- was restored in English 15c.-16c.; in French the attempt to restore it at about the same time was rejected. Venture is a 15c. variant. German Abenteuer is a borrowing of the French word, apparently deformed whimsically by influence of Abend "evening."
Middle English delen, from Old English dælan "to divide, distribute, separate;" hence "to share with others, bestow, dispense," and also "take part in, have to do with," from Proto-Germanic *dailjanan (source also of Old Saxon deljan, Old Frisian dela "to divide, distribute," Middle Dutch, Dutch deelen, German teilen, Gothic dailjan),from PIE *dail- "to divide," perhaps a Northern Indo-European extended form of root *da- "to divide," or a word from a substrate language.
Meaning "to deliver (to another) as his share" is from c. 1300. Meaning "to distribute cards before a game" is from 1520s (the associated noun meaning "distribution of cards before a game" is from c. 1600). Hence colloquial deal (someone) in "include in an undertaking" (1942).
To deal with "handle, act toward (in some way)" is attested from mid-15c., from the notion of "engage in mutual intercourse, have to do with;" in late 14c. the phrase also mean "have sexual intercourse with." Related: Dealt; dealing.