One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A merchant engaged in the organization and dispatch of trading expeditions overseas, and the establishment of factories and trading stations in foreign countries. Hence: a member of an association of such merchants incorporated by royal charter or other lawful authority.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in Acts of Parliament. From merchant + adventurer.
merchant adventurer/ˌməːtʃ(ə)nt ədˈvɛn(t)ʃ(ə)rə/
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