Definition of ambition in English:

ambition

noun

  • 1A strong desire to do or achieve something.

    ‘her ambition was to become a pilot’
    ‘he achieved his ambition of making a fortune’
    • ‘All of this occurs amid speculation about her own presidential ambitions.’
    • ‘Her ambition was to work in the field of astrophysics.’
    • ‘Not so long ago he was watching telly with his eldest daughter, Lois, who has ambitions to be an actor.’
    • ‘Noble ideas about feeding the world are being used to cloak ambitions of economic dominance.’
    • ‘The storytelling ambitions of the two paintings are entirely interchangeable.’
    • ‘The single abiding ambition of my life was to be as good a father as I could.’
    • ‘Andrews just hopes their ambitions tally with his own and those of his boss.’
    • ‘Matt left his native Birmingham a year ago to pursue his ambition of being part of a band.’
    • ‘Now, if I get some MP to sign a letter, it feels like I've achieved my life's ambition.’
    • ‘The desire for weed-free fields is not an evil ambition.’
    • ‘The firm harbours ambitions to build a major annual event around St Andrew's Day.’
    • ‘Constable died in 1837 feeling that his ambitions had not been realized.’
    • ‘If anything, Allan and his management team have had to rein in their ambitions.’
    • ‘By the age of 14 she had two ambitions: to join the army and to compete in the Olympics.’
    • ‘If we work together we can realise these ambitions - we can make Scotland a better place.’
    • ‘He and Graham Gordon, another young Scot soon to join the paid ranks, have big ambitions.’
    • ‘For a man whose ambition had always been to farm, he has no regrets about his change of career.’
    • ‘His ambition of becoming Prime Minister was dashed forever.’
    • ‘Land-hungry settlers viewed the royal government as an obstacle to their ambitions.’
    • ‘Hughes won the affection of many viewers in the original programme when he set out his ambitions in life.’
    aspiration, intention, goal, aim, objective, object, purpose, intent, plan, scheme, mission, calling, vocation, desire, wish, design, target, end, dream, hope
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun Desire and determination to achieve success.
      ‘young men and women with ambition’
      • ‘He's been good at everything he's turned his hand to because of his determination and ambition.’
      • ‘Unlike world leaders she was not driven by raging ambition or a desire to improve society.’
      • ‘It has less independence than the body it replaced but more ambition and more resources.’
      • ‘In nineteenth-century France, artists of high ambition sometimes expressed impatience with easel painting.’
      • ‘Publicly affable, his home life seems to have taken the brunt of his drive and ambition.’
      • ‘The boy was a considerable scholar - fluent, we are told, in six languages - but also consumed with ambition.’
      • ‘His energy and ambition are astonishing, yet he emerges from this exhibit as a secondary, if engaging, figure.’
      • ‘On the other hand, it would be surprising if they had equal levels of ambition.’
      • ‘So is it personal ambition that's driven her to scale the upper heights of the ministry?’
      • ‘Most dangerous of all is that this will encourage those whose ambition outstrips their ability.’
      • ‘The present trustees could never be accused of lacking ambition.’
      • ‘He now has a job, home and family and has developed into a responsible, caring father with ambition.’
      • ‘She arrived in 1920s Paris with nothing but talent, ruthless ambition and her own inimitable style.’
      • ‘Goneril and Regan, consumed by ambition, divide the kingdom in half.’
      • ‘During the course of Citizen Kane, the hero marries two women and his ambition drives them away.’
      • ‘In a book of such ambition, there will be much with which to quibble.’
      • ‘This dedication came not through ambition, or from a search for glory, but through his real generosity of spirit, through love.’
      • ‘After a sickly childhood, he entered manhood with uncommon zest and ambition.’
      • ‘Julie's success is based on driving ambition, a deprived childhood and hard graft.’
      • ‘The result of years of research, the book portrays the regent as a woman of ambition, taste, and faith.’
      drive, determination, desire, enterprise, initiative, eagerness, motivation, enthusiasm, zeal, commitment, a sense of purpose, longing, yearning, hankering
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin ambitio(n-), from ambire ‘go around (canvassing for votes)’.

Pronunciation

ambition

/amˈbɪʃ(ə)n/