- 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 overambitious
- excessively ambitiousthe aims were overambitious, therefore few were achieved
- 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)
Word Origin and History for overambitious
late 14c., from Latin ambitiosus "going around to canvass for office," from ambitio (see ambition). Related: Ambitiously.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper