[ am-bish-uhs ]
See synonyms for: ambitiousambitiousness on

  1. having ambition; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.: The school is known for its ambitious students.

  2. showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction: This season saw an ambitious attempt to break the record for number of wins in a single season.

  1. strongly desirous; eager: It is common for children to be ambitious of love and approval.

  2. requiring exceptional effort, ability, etc.: The candidate is proposing an ambitious program for eliminating all slums.

Origin of ambitious

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin ambitiōsus, equivalent to ambiti(ō) ambition + -ōsus -ous

synonym study For ambitious

1. Ambitious, aspiring, enterprising describe a person who wishes to rise above their 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.

Opposites for ambitious

Other words from ambitious

  • am·bi·tious·ly, adverb
  • am·bi·tious·ness, noun
  • non·am·bi·tious, adjective
  • non·am·bi·tious·ly, adverb
  • non·am·bi·tious·ness, noun
  • o·ver·am·bi·tious, adjective
  • o·ver·am·bi·tious·ly, adverb
  • o·ver·am·bi·tious·ness, noun
  • un·am·bi·tious, adjective
  • un·am·bi·tious·ly, adverb
  • un·am·bi·tious·ness, noun

Words Nearby ambitious Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ambitious in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ambitious


/ (æmˈbɪʃəs) /

  1. having a strong desire for success or achievement; wanting power, money, etc

  2. necessitating extraordinary effort or ability: an ambitious project

  1. (often foll by of) having a great desire (for something or to do something)

Derived forms of ambitious

  • 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