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
1350–1400; Middle EnglishRelated formsam·bi·tious·ly, adverbam·bi·tious·ness, nounnon·am·bi·tious, adjectivenon·am·bi·tious·ly, adverbnon·am·bi·tious·ness, nouno·ver·am·bi·tious, adjectiveo·ver·am·bi·tious·ly, adverbo·ver·am·bi·tious·ness, nounun·am·bi·tious, adjectiveun·am·bi·tious·ly, adverbun·am·bi·tious·ness, noun
< Latin ambitiōsus,
equivalent to ambiti(ō
+ -ōsus -ous
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.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for unambitiousdiffident
Examples from the Web for unambitious
Contemporary Examples of unambitious
Historical Examples of unambitious
It was not quick to move or easily excited; but stolid, cautious, unambitious, procrastinating.
Who showed me how common and dull and unambitious I had been all my life?
It is the founding in an unambitious way of a comfortable home.
Considered in its main outline, how very plain and unambitious is the history!
Harry, as may be supposed, being passive and unambitious, opposed it with all his might.
British Dictionary definitions for unambitious
lacking in ambitionthey were unambitious for their daughters
Derived Formsambitiously, adverbambitiousness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for unambitious
late 14c., from Latin ambitiosus "going around to canvass for office," from ambitio (see ambition). Related: Ambitiously.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper