- an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment: Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by his colleagues.
- the object, state, or result desired or sought after: The crown was his ambition.
- desire for work or activity; energy: I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
- to seek after earnestly; aspire to.
Origin of ambition
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ambition
The other narrative is of mobility in the service of ambition.Will Texas Stay Texan?
December 29, 2014
Their authors promise that your spirit will be improved, your ambition honed, and your finances maximized by their advice.Can Self-Help Books Really Make a New You?
December 29, 2014
And it led him in his teenage years to declare his ambition to become a cop.In The Shadow of Murdered Cops
December 26, 2014
Reid planted a flag, ready to make his mark in the world of whisky, backed by ambition and a gorgeous piece of land.Ester Elchies, The Estate Built By Whiskey
December 10, 2014
He made little secret of his ambition to become the next prime minister, much to the chagrin of Netanyahu.Goodbye to Israel’s Lousy Government (Let’s Hope the Next One Isn’t Worse)
December 4, 2014
No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions.
She had won her ambition of years, revenge on the man who had sent her to prison.Within the Law
But ambition is foreign to the Shakespeare-Hamlet nature, so the poet does not employ it.The Man Shakespeare
It was once my ambition to visit one by one every noteworthy spot in France.The Roof of France
The first was addressed to the fears of the Athenians, the second to their ambition.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
- strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
- something so desired; goal; aim
Word Origin and History for ambition
mid-14c., from Middle French ambition or directly from Latin ambitionem (nominative ambitio) "a going around," especially to solicit votes, hence "a striving for favor, courting, flattery; a desire for honor, thirst for popularity," noun of action from past participle stem of ambire "to go around" (see ambient).
Rarely used in the literal sense in English, where it carries the secondary Latin sense of "eager or inordinate desire of honor or preferment." In early use always pejorative, of inordinate or overreaching desire; ambition was grouped with pride and vainglory.