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ambition

[am-bish-uh n] /æmˈbɪʃ ən/
noun
1.
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.
2.
the object, state, or result desired or sought after:
The crown was his ambition.
3.
desire for work or activity; energy:
I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
verb (used with object)
4.
to seek after earnestly; aspire to.
Origin of ambition
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English ambicio(u)n (< Middle French) < Latin ambitiōn- (stem of ambitiō), equivalent to amb- ambi- + -i- go + -t- past participle suffix + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
ambitionless, adjective
ambitionlessly, adverb
preambition, noun
superambition, noun
Synonyms
1. aspiration, yearning, longing. 2. goal, aim. 3. drive, force.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ambitions
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was not an exalted niche to fill in life, but at least she had learned to fill it to perfection, and her ambitions were modest.

    Ancestors Gertrude Atherton
  • All my hopes, my ambitions, my life itself have come to centre in you.

    The Man from the Bitter Roots Caroline Lockhart
  • But we are French, thought Simon, and we have no ambitions in Italy.

  • When I was in high school it was one of my ambitions to learn to be at home in any environment.

    Have We No Rights? Mabel Williamson
  • Prominent in her manner was a helpless little confession of inadequacy to her ambitions that made her personality engaging.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
British Dictionary definitions for ambitions

ambition

/æmˈbɪʃən/
noun
1.
strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
2.
something so desired; goal; aim
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin ambitiō a going round (of candidates), a striving to please, from ambīre to go round; see ambit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ambitions

ambition

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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