Definition of ambitious in English:



  • 1Having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.

    ‘a ruthlessly ambitious woman’
    • ‘Some of the more ambitious regional economic groupings are striving to become a common market.’
    • ‘We are ambitious and we want the best for the population of Breaffy and Ballyheane.’
    • ‘It used to be the case that ambitious people went into politics in the hope that they would one day become famous.’
    • ‘But the band does sound ambitious and hungry to progress to bigger and better things.’
    • ‘He now hopes to marry Bradamante, but her ambitious parents vigorously oppose the match.’
    • ‘New York, that great city of immigrants, is home to ambitious sons and daughters from all over the world.’
    • ‘Is he ambitious and keen to succeed by seeing you enjoy commercial success?’
    • ‘By contrast, the syndicates of private investors have become more ambitious.’
    • ‘Its predominance in west and central Africa is coming to an end as South Africa becomes more ambitious.’
    • ‘As Cesarani demonstrates, Eichmann was an ambitious man determined to do his job well.’
    • ‘O'Connor is an ambitious and driven young man and he knew that this was his chance to make capital from his success.’
    • ‘However, Lochhead argued, it is crucial that the new institution tries not to be too ambitious.’
    • ‘I found them to be a very receptive group, very ambitious and very willing to learn.’
    • ‘Former colleagues of Usi describe him as intelligent, ambitious and volatile.’
    • ‘Clever, ambitious and moderate as he is, I do not for a moment think he expects his party to win the election.’
    • ‘For young boys and their ambitious parents, all of this is the stuff of which dreams are made.’
    • ‘They are honest, enthusiastic and ambitious for the club and they made it clear they wanted me to stay.’
    • ‘They were determined and ambitious in their playing, but their performances were a mixed bag.’
    • ‘Where else would you have a government in which bright, ambitious ministers don't want the top job?’
    • ‘That is why younger, leaner, more ambitious colleges are now the real powerhouses of learning.’
    aspiring, determined, forceful, pushy, enterprising, pioneering, progressive, eager, motivated, driven, enthusiastic, energetic, zealous, committed, go-ahead, go-getting, purposeful, assertive, aggressive, hungry, power-hungry
    eager, determined, enthusiastic, desirous, anxious, hungry, impatient, striving, yearning, longing, wishing, itching, dying, hoping, avid, hankering
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    1. 1.1(of a plan or piece of work) intended to satisfy high aspirations and therefore difficult to achieve.
      ‘an ambitious enterprise’
      • ‘People in Cottingley had arranged fundraising ventures for the ambitious project.’
      • ‘This is an ambitious programme which will succeed if all of Erris supports the event.’
      • ‘Work on the ambitious project started this week, and will be completed later in the month.’
      • ‘To make the ambitious plans work, the house next door also had to be bought.’
      • ‘The project proposes the most ambitious plans for the parish church in over 100 years.’
      • ‘Lovell acknowledges that the rescue plan is ambitious and riddled with potential problems.’
      • ‘Town hall chiefs have agreed to submit the ambitious proposal to the Transport Department.’
      • ‘Youngsters in the town were on hand on Saturday as work began on another ambitious project in the town.’
      • ‘Parents are set to be given their say on ambitious plans which could see a York school sold to make way for a new one.’
      • ‘Turnover has doubled in the past two years as the company embarked on an ambitious expansion programme.’
      • ‘This ambitious scheme was designed to make the motorist's life a lot freer.’
      • ‘It's an ambitious feat, but he's hoping it will help him get over his recent divorce.’
      • ‘The Society has a full and ambitious programme laid out for the rest of the year.’
      • ‘And work is now due to start on the ambitious project to meet the timescale for claiming the award.’
      • ‘The most important step in reaching this ambitious goal is to stop pollution at its source.’
      • ‘It is an ambitious work, with inevitable moments of awkwardness and pretension.’
      • ‘I hope my vision is clear enough for this job and ambitious enough for this country.’
      • ‘It was a bold and ambitious plan that took no account of the terrain or local conditions.’
      • ‘Edinburgh's political and business leadership have set themselves an ambitious goal.’
      • ‘Instead the company has come up with an ambitious scheme to boost the number of people working from home.’
      difficult, exacting, demanding, formidable, challenging, hard, arduous, onerous, tough, stiff, strenuous
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Late Middle English: from Old French ambitieux or Latin ambitiosus, from ambitio (see ambition).