early 15c., "to risk the loss" (of something), shortened form of aventure, itself a form of adventure. General sense of "to dare, to presume" is recorded from 1550s. Related: Ventured; venturing.
Nought venter nought have [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1546]
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.; attempt was made about the same time to restore it in French, but there it was rejected. Venture is a 15c. variant. German Abenteuer is a borrowing of the French word, apparently deformed by influence of Abend "evening."
1680s, "expose to chance of injury or loss," from risk (n.), or from French risquer, from Italian riscare, rischaire, from the noun. By 1705 as "venture upon, take the chances of." Related: Risked; risks; risking.
masc. proper name, Germanic, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *fardi-nanth- and meaning literally "adventurer," with first element perhaps Proto-Germanic *fardiz "journey," abstract noun related to or from *far- "to fare, travel" (from PIE root *per- (2) "to lead, pass over"); second element is Proto-Germanic *nanthiz "risk," related to Old English neðan, Old High German nendan "to risk, venture."
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."
1880, "suggested by the Editor" (OED editor Sir James A.H. Murray) for "gradual and unintentional loss of a short unaccented vowel at the beginning of a word" [OED], as squire from esquire, venture from adventure. With -ic + aphesis (1880), from Greek aphienai "to let go, to send forth," from assimilated form of apo "from" (see apo-) + hienai "to send, throw" (from PIE root *ye- "to throw, impel"). Compare apheresis.