- ( US ) IPA: /æmˈbɪ.ʃən/
- ( uncountable, countable ) Eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other people .
- ( countable ) An object of an ardent desire .
- A desire, as in ( sense 1 ), for another person to achieve these things .
- ( uncountable ) A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal .
From Middle English ambicion, from Old French ambition, from Latin ambitio ( “ambition, a striving for favor, literally 'a going around', especially of candidates for office in Rome soliciting votes” ), from ambiō ( “I go around, solicit votes” ). See ambient, issue .
ambition ( usually uncountable; plural: ambitions )
Explanation of ambition by Wordnet Dictionary
- Ambition n. [F. ambition, L. ambitio a going around, especially of candidates for office is Rome, to solicit votes ( hence, desire for office or honor ), fr. ambire to go around. See Ambient, Issue.]
1. The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing. [Obs.]
[I] used no ambition to commend my deeds. Milton.
2. An eager, and sometimes an inordinate, desire for preferment, honor, superiority, power, or the attainment of something.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling a way ambition:
By that sin fell the angels. Shak.
The pitiful ambition of possessing five or six thousand more acres. Burke.
- Ambition, v. t. [Cf. F. ambitionner.] To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet. [R.]
Pausanias, ambitioning the sovereignty of Greece, bargains with Xerxes for his daughter in marriage. Trumbull.
Definition of ambition by GCIDE Dictionary