Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[am-bish-uh s] /æmˈbɪʃ əs/
having ambition; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.:
ambitious students.
showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction:
an ambitious attempt to break the record for number of wins in a single season.
strongly desirous; eager:
ambitious of love and approval.
requiring exceptional effort, ability, etc.:
The candidate is proposing an ambitious program for eliminating all slums.
Origin of ambitious
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin ambitiōsus, equivalent to ambiti(ō) ambition + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
ambitiously, adverb
ambitiousness, noun
nonambitious, adjective
nonambitiously, adverb
nonambitiousness, noun
overambitious, adjective
overambitiously, adverb
overambitiousness, noun
unambitious, adjective
unambitiously, adverb
unambitiousness, noun
1. apathetic, lackadaisical.
Synonym Study
1. Ambitious, aspiring, enterprising describe a person who wishes to rise above his or her present position or condition. The ambitious person wishes to attain worldly success, and puts forth effort toward this end: ambitious for social position. The enterprising person, interested especially in wealth, is characterized by energy and daring in undertaking projects. The aspiring person wishes to rise (mentally or spiritually) to a higher level or plane, or to attain some end above ordinary expectations. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ambitiously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Your seating me at your table was an honour which I did not ambitiously affect.

    Joseph Andrews, Vol. 2 Henry Fielding
  • No other American has written so artfully, so happily, or so ambitiously in this field.

  • His much too ambitiously titled Mélanges Littéraires turn to stories, though stories touched with the polisson brush.

  • The number of his concubines and his wives has been ambitiously celebrated by Christian writers.

    Four Early Pamphlets William Godwin
  • Also, besides the birds, he occasionally glimpsed whole sheets of newspapers as they ambitiously voyaged above the house tops.

    The Rich Little Poor Boy Eleanor Gates
  • The old man was thinking—thinking not alone of the health, but ambitiously of the future, of his grandson.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • I ambitiously tried it once, but failed to turn the horse quickly enough, and was pulled over to the ground.

    Mexico Charles Reginald Enock
  • Then come the visions of delirium, ambitiously written, but without either myth or meaning, so far as we can discover.

  • Within comparatively recent years, this family tradition has been ambitiously elaborated.

British Dictionary definitions for ambitiously


having a strong desire for success or achievement; wanting power, money, etc
necessitating extraordinary effort or ability: an ambitious project
(often foll by of) having a great desire (for something or to do something)
Derived Forms
ambitiously, adverb
ambitiousness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ambitiously



late 14c., from Latin ambitiosus "going around to canvass for office," from ambitio (see ambition). Related: Ambitiously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for ambitiously

Word Value for ambitiously

Scrabble Words With Friends