Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Adventuresome vs. Adventurous

Yesterday my mom described my niece as "adventuresome" for her plans to travel soon to Alaska. Mom then wondered if this or "adventurous" was the right word to use.

"Adventuresome" is defined as "willing to undertake or seek out new and daring enterprises", while "adventurous" has a definition of "fraught with danger". An Alaska trip would then be best described as "adventuresome", since danger isn't really part of the picture so much as just trying something new and different and far away.


Anonymous said...

I always felt that it also had something to do with the subject vs. the object.
I, she, we, you, they are so adventuresome to go out for that hike so early in the morning.... vs.
How adventurous it is to climb to the summit of Mt, Everest.

knyc said...

I suspect beings, persons, actors, were originally always and only adventuresome, while journeys, plans, stories, expeditions and other non-acting things were adventurous. Adventurous seems to have won, and is now used for both.

I've always loved adventuresome, and miss its proper use.