An adventurer or adventuress is a term that usually takes one of three meanings:
*One whose travels are unusual and often exotic, though not so unique as to qualify as exploration.
*One who lives by their wits.
*One who takes part in a risky or speculative course of action for profit or position.cite book |authorlink= Merriam-Webster |editor= |others= |title=Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary |edition=|year=1987|publisher=Merriam-Webster Inc. |isbn= 0-87779-508-8|pages=59 ]

In fiction, the adventurer figure or Picaro may be regarded as a descendant of the knight-errant of Medieval romance. Like the knight, the adventurer roams through episodic encounters, usually involving wealth, romance, or fighting. Unlike the knight, the adventurer was a realistic figure, often lower class or otherwise impoverished, who is forced to make his way to fortune, often by deceit. The picaresque novel originated in Spain in the middle of the fifteenth century. Novels such as Lazarillo de Tormes were influential across Europe. Throughout the eighteenth century, a great number of novels featured bold, amoral, adventuring protagonists, who made their way into wealth and happiness, sometimes with and sometimes without the moral conversion that generally accompanies the Spanish model. Under Victorian morality the term, used without qualifiers, came to imply a person of low moral character, often someone trying to marry for money.

In comic book handbooks such as "Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" and "", the term "adventurer" is used as a synonym for "super-hero" when listing a character's occupation.

In role-playing games, the player characters are often professional adventurers, who earn wealth and fame by adventure, such as undertaking hazardous missions, exploring ruins, and slaying monsters. This stereotype is strong enough that "the adventurers" can often be used as a synonym for "the player characters". However non-player character groups of adventurers can also exist, and can be an interesting encounter for the players.

See also: adventure.

List of adventurers

Historical adventurers

*Alexander von Humboldt
*Bartholomew Gosnold
*Captain John Smith
*Che Guevara
*Count Alessandro di Cagliostro
*Edward John Trelawny
*Edward Maria Wingfield
*F.A. Mitchell-Hedges
*Fernão Mendes Pinto
*Francisco de Miranda
*Giacomo Casanova
*Ibn Battuta
*James Holman
*Jørgen Jørgensen
*Marco Polo
*Martha Jane "Calamity Jane" Canary-Burke
*Mata Hari
*Percy Fawcett
*Rafael de Nogales Méndez
*Ranald MacDonald
*Richard Francis Burton
*Roy Chapman Andrews
*T. E. Lawrence

Modern adventurers

*Bear Grylls
*Ben Fogle
*Benedict Allen
*Bertrand Piccard
*David Mayer de Rothschild
*Ed Viesturs
*Ferdynand Antoni Ossendowski
*George Kourounis
*Heinrich Harrer
*John Goddard (adventurer)
*Les Stroud
*Matt Harding
*Brandon "Danger" Reynolds
*Mike Horn
*Nebojsa Stanojevic
*Ranulph Fiennes
*Richard Halliburton (1900-1939)
*Robert twigger
*Robert Young Pelton
*Rory Maclean
*Sir Peter Blake
*Stanisław Bułak-Bałachowicz
*Steve Fossett (1944-2007)
*Tahir Shah
*Thor Heyerdahl
*Matthew S. Zielinski

Fictional adventurers

*Allan Quatermain: An adventurer, most famous for appearing in the book, King Solomon's Mines. His adventures are in Africa, during England's Victorian Era.
*Baron Munchausen
*Bilbo Baggins: The main protagonist in The Hobbit. He's a hobbit and lives in a fantasy world with elves and dragons. His most famous adventure was helping thirteen Dwarves reclaim an ancient mine that had been horded by a dragon.
*Conan the Barbarian
*Corto Maltese
*Dirk Pitt: A modern day adventurer created by writer, Clive Cussler. His adventures take him to different places and countries, where he is often pursued by villains, trying to beat him to some hidden treasure he's looking for.
*Doc Savage
*Evelyn Carnahan-O'Connell
*Frodo Baggins: One of the nine main protagonists in the books, The Lord of the Rings; the sequel to The Hobbit. He lives in the same fantasy world as Bilbo Baggins, and in the book, Frodo must journey across this world in order to destroy an ancient ring which contains the power of an ancient dark lord.
*Han Solo: A space pirate and trader from the Star Wars franchise. He is portrayed by Harrison Ford in the film trilogy. Han Solo first became part of the rebel group against the evil empire after running into Luke Skywalker.
*Indiana Jones: An archaeologist. He is also portrayed by Harrison Ford. Indiana Jones collects ancient treasures and sells them to museums. However, his simple plans are often thwarted by the Nazis, who are almost always trying to collect the treasure first.
*Jack Flanders
*Jack T. Colton: An adventurer, appearing in the films, Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile.
*Lara Croft
*Lemuel Gulliver
*Lord Asriel
*Rick O'Connell
*Robin Hood: A thief from Dark Age times. He is best known for robbing the rich to feed the poor. Later, he was also known for rescuing Maid Marian from the evil Prince John.
*Xena of Amphipolis


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