Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of ambition
Meaning of ambition by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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 .


    • ( US ) IPA: /æmˈbɪ.ʃən/


    ambition ( usually uncountable; plural: ambitions )

    1. ( 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 .
    2. ( countable ) An object of an ardent desire .
      My ambition is to own a helicopter .
    3. A desire, as in ( sense 1 ), for another person to achieve these things .
    4. ( uncountable ) A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal .


    For usage examples of this term, see the citations page .

    Related terms

    • ambience
    • ambient
    • ambit
    • ambitious
    • ambitionist


    ambition ( third-person singular simple present ambitions present participle ambitioning, simple past and past participle ambitioned )

    1. To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet .
      Pausanias, ambitioning the sovereignty of Greece, bargains with Xerxes for his daughter in marriage. — Trumbull .

    External links

    • ambition in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • ambition in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of ambition by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. have as one's ambition

    1. a strong drive for success

    2. a cherished desire

    3. his ambition is to own his own business

    Definition of ambition by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. 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.

    2. 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.