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An adventure is an activity that comprises risky, dangerous or uncertain experiences. The term is more popularly used in reference to physical activities that have some potential for danger, such as skydiving, mountain climbing, and extreme sports. The term is broad enough to refer to any enterprise that is potentially fraught with risk, such as a business venture or a major life undertaking. An adventurer is a person who bases their lifestyle or their fortunes on adventurous acts.

Adventurous experiences create psychological and physiological arousal, which can be interpreted as negative (e.g. fear) or positive (e.g. flow), and which can become a detriment as per the Yerkes-Dodson law. For some people, adventure becomes a major pursuit in and of itself.

Adventurous activities are typically undertaken for the purposes of recreation or excitement, such as multi-sport adventure racing or a traveler's adventure tourism. However, an adventurous activity can lead to gains in knowledge, such as in the case of the numerous pioneers who have explored and charted the Earth and, in recent times, traveled into space and to the Moon. As a more modern example, adventure education makes use of challenging experiences for learning.

Moreover, adventure can be describing an unusual experience or participating in exciting undertakings. An adventure action can be involving risky undertaking or an action without concerning outcome. In addition, taking an adventure can be illustrating taking the chance or to adventure an opinion.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Etymology 1

From Middle English aventure, aunter, anter, from Old French aventure, from Late Latin adventurus, from Latin advenire, adventum (to arrive), which in the Romance languages took the sense of "to happen, befall" (see also advene).




adventure (plural adventures)

  1. That which happens without design; chance; hazard; hap; hence, chance of danger or loss.
  2. The encountering of risks; hazardous and striking enterprise; a bold undertaking, in which hazards are to be encountered, and the issue is staked upon unforeseen events; a daring feat.
  3. A remarkable occurrence; a striking event; a stirring incident; as, the adventures of one's life.
  4. A mercantile or speculative enterprise of hazard; a venture; a shipment by a merchant on his own account.
Related terms
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

From Middle English aventuren, auntren, which from Old French aventurer, from aventure.


to adventure

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to adventure (third-person singular simple present adventures, present participle adventuring, simple past and past participle adventured)

  1. (transitive) To risk or hazard; jeopard; venture.
  2. (transitive) To venture upon; to run the risk of; to dare.
  3. (intransitive) To try the chance; to take the risk.
Derived terms
  • Bulgarian: рискувам, осмелявам се
  • Russian: рисковать (riskovát') (impf.), рискнуть (risknút') (pf.) (1, 2, 3)
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


  • adventure in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Simple English

An adventure is something exciting that happens to someone. An adventure can be a made-up story, or it can be something that happens in real life.

People often like to read stories about a person or a group of people who go off and have an adventure. There is often some danger in the story. Enid Blyton wrote stories about The Famous Five who go off to have exciting adventures. Harry Potter has lots of adventures: he meets strange people and gets into lots of dangerous situations.

People in real life like to have adventures. They may be explorers who like to go to far-away places where no one has ever been before.

Adventure sports are sports that are exciting but can be rather dangerous. Skydiving, gliding and rock climbing are adventure sports.

An adventure playground is a playground for children where they can climb, swing and jump on things. They have been made by adults for children to use and are normally quite safe.

An adventurer is someone who spends all his life going on adventures or doing things that are risky.

Space travel is an example of a modern adventure.

An adventure game is a video game about adventures.

The word venture is a short form of "adventure". A "business venture" is a business project in which there is a lot of risk. "Venture" can also be a verb: "They ventured out into the storm".

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