- 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 for ambition on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for ambitions
So with the doors of late night closed to her, Slate had to scale down her ambitions to raise her profile.The Curious Little Shell That Restarted Jenny Slate’s Career
December 15, 2014
Why would a system, on so many levels, manufacture hopes and ambitions designed for disappointment?
And elites with ambitions in national politics are learning to electioneer accordingly.
Zylka was never had ambitions of acting growing up, preferring instead to play football and tag graffiti.From Homeless to HBO, ‘The Leftovers’ Star Chris Zylka’s Crazy Hollywood Story
June 27, 2014
His debut novel, Echo of the Boom, is a dystopian romp with Pynchonesque ambitions.In a New Novel, Apathetic Teenagers Usher in the Apocalypse
June 9, 2014
Well, I don't, of course, tell any of the men about my ambitions.
He was much pleased with her appearance and quite interested in her ambitions.A Singer from the Sea
Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
It means that living there, in life you bury yourself, your hopes, your ambitions.A Breath of Prairie and other stories
Never had he so opened his heart in regard to his own ideals of art, his own ambitions.Stories of a Western Town
At this time my ambitions were for a newspaper career, and I thought I was succeeding.Cap'n Warren's Wards
Joseph C. Lincoln
- strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
- something so desired; goal; aim
Word Origin and History for ambitions
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.