ambitious

[am-bish-uhs]

adjective

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.

Nearby words

  1. ambisonics,
  2. ambisyllabic,
  3. ambit,
  4. ambitendency,
  5. ambition,
  6. ambitiously,
  7. ambivalence,
  8. ambivalent,
  9. ambivalent sexism,
  10. ambivalently

Origin of ambitious

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

Related forms

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.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for overambitious

  • They used words such as promising, uneven, overambitious, gifted.

    Fanny Herself|Edna Ferber
  • External foreign developments had been adding to the difficulties of achieving the overambitious industrial and military goals.

    East-West Trade Trends|Harold E. Stassen


British Dictionary definitions for overambitious

overambitious

adjective

excessively ambitiousthe aims were overambitious, therefore few were achieved

ambitious

adjective

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)
Derived Formsambitiously, adverbambitiousness, 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

Word Origin and History for overambitious

ambitious

adj.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper