- 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
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.
1. apathetic, lackadaisical.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for over-ambitious
We have been over-ambitious, we wanted to do things too well!The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Thus doth fate pursue the over-ambitious and wreck their plans.A Woman for Mayor
Helen M. Winslow
You think, perhaps, that I 'm employing an over-ambitious phrase, but I am not.The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I.(of II)
Charles James Lever
It is the over-ambitious singer, the singer who forces a small, light organ to do heavy work, who develops the tremolo.Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing
Enrico Caruso and Luisa Tetrazzini
But that which he covets comes not to the jealous one, nor power to him who thirsts for it, nor honor to the over-ambitious.The Quest
Frederik van Eeden
- having a strong desire for success or achievement; wanting power, money, etc
- necessitating extraordinary effort or abilityan ambitious project
- (often foll by of) having a great desire (for something or to do something)
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
Word Origin and History for over-ambitious
late 14c., from Latin ambitiosus "going around to canvass for office," from ambitio (see ambition). Related: Ambitiously.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper