Definition of unambitious in English:



  • 1Not motivated or driven by a strong desire or determination to succeed.

    ‘he was an unambitious man’
    • ‘His whiskers describe him: bland, unambitious, conservative.’
    • ‘In many ways, this movie is entirely unambitious and the ‘unreality’ element is such an old Sci-fi device that I expected it to deliver very little.’
    • ‘A country for tenacious, uncommunicative, unambitious tacticians, Turkey bores me to death.’
    • ‘Shrimps huffed and puffed for more than an hour against a well-drilled but unambitious side who had obviously come to Christie Park looking for one point.’
    • ‘South Lakeland District Council is unambitious, lacks drive at the top and is unlikely to improve without significant change, according to inspectors, reports Beth Broomby.’
    • ‘To give Prosinecki his due he was constantly demanding the ball from teammates, but just as he took up obvious positions, he was unambitious in his spreading of the ball, taking the easy option on just about every occasion.’
    • ‘But this turn of events crystallises her relationship with her loving, if unambitious, husband.’
    • ‘Fraudley Harrison, a supremely outstanding amateur turned incredibly unambitious professional, claimed last week: ‘My plan is to be heavyweight champion of the world.’’
    • ‘In the Scottish context, it is quite easy to be unambitious, to aim low.’
    • ‘Reeking of managerial sub-thinking, the words chosen to sum up the new policy also sum up the current predicament of the party as a whole: stuck in the middle, unambitious and lazy.’
    • ‘Anyone who chooses to stay at home with their kids is seen as woefully unambitious and deserving of contempt.’
    • ‘Surely this is just a way of kidding ourselves, though, since it will make us complacent and unambitious?’
    • ‘Zapa is a slow, passive, unambitious 32-year-old locksmith, working in a small country town in Argentina.’
    • ‘Ricky and I were the most unambitious people ever.’
    • ‘Undermanned, unambitious and passionate only when circumstances demanded, they were given what they deserved.’
    • ‘In the Sledmere House tea rooms I overheard a conversation between two lithe and colourfully clad cyclists, the sort that make me feel so unambitious.’
    • ‘Sargent is portrayed as modest, self-denying and unambitious, the antithesis of the preening Oxford peacocks.’
    • ‘He is good with the kids, but too unambitious to make anything of his life.’
    • ‘This stand-alone thriller features Miles Flint, an unambitious low-level spy, whose job is to watch and listen, and report backs to his superiors.’
    • ‘‘Bradford's Conservatives are so unambitious for our area,’ she said.’
    uninterested, indifferent, unconcerned, unmoved, unresponsive, impassive, passive, detached, uninvolved, disinterested, unfeeling, unemotional, emotionless, dispassionate, lukewarm, cool, uncaring, half-hearted, lackadaisical, non-committal
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    1. 1.1 (of a plan or piece of work) not involving anything new, exciting, or demanding.
      ‘the new design is unambitious’
      ‘an unambitious curriculum’
      • ‘The worst you can say about his poverty policy is that it is unambitious; despite liberal rhetoric, he has done very little at all in the realm of poverty policy, for good or ill.’
      • ‘Mr Sheerman yesterday told the Yorkshire Post he had heard rumours that the TransPennine franchise would be relatively unambitious.’
      • ‘Five tries should not be sniffed at, particularly in the context of Scotland's recent history, but they should have beaten this woefully unambitious and technically poor opposition by 60.’
      • ‘So what unambitious project are all these brains working on?’
      • ‘I never really enjoyed Pink Floyd, and Orange Can has successfully reminded me why: the dull, stagnant jams sound indifferent and unambitious.’
      • ‘It's actually quite a tasty, if unambitious, dish, with lots of wasabi in the dressing.’
      • ‘During my formative years in the Language Writing scene in the 70s, it was a matter of course to attack the aura-driven, faux-charismatic, unambitious poetry coming out of writing workshops.’
      • ‘The most successful doctoral students in my experience are the ones that are thorough and careful and take on relatively unambitious projects which don't stretch the assumptions or structures of the discipline too much.’
      • ‘Critics claim the plan is unambitious and Scotland should settle for nothing less than a Glasgow-Edinburgh bullet train and extra stations.’
      • ‘In comparison to some of Allen's more clever and weightier productions, Anything Else is easy to watch, unambitious and demands little, if anything, from its audience.’
      • ‘This is the ultimate brownfield site. A few years ago, homes planned here would most likely have been unambitious suburban closes, maybe with some higher blocks on the river.’
      • ‘There is construction on two new green buildings, but even this is a seemingly unambitious beginning for Penn State's mission to help solve local and global environmental problems.’
      • ‘But his desire to prove a point backfired in a grim and unambitious contest which spectacularly failed to live up to its pre-fight hype as a clash between two big punchers.’
      • ‘Before founding FlavorX, Kramm had been content to live a quiet and relatively unambitious life working in a family pharmacy.’
      • ‘Most of the remaining six targets have already been missed, are unambitious, cannot be verified or are unlikely to be achieved, he added.’
      • ‘The ideas, they said, were unambitious and lacking in vision.’
      • ‘He should improve the proposals in two respects - by adding a halt at Stow, and demanding a better travelling time than the unambitious 60 minutes submitted.’
      • ‘You get the feeling Intel didn't appreciate that AMD embrace and has played a role in IBM's unambitious Opteron product plans.’
      • ‘So, the state only funds very unambitious work - very reasonably they feel that to fund stuff that their constituency thinks is a pipedream would jeopardize re-election.’
      • ‘No repeat is likely of those simplistic pledge card promises - such as cutting hospital waiting lists - which seemed so straightforward and unambitious in 1997, but turned out to be a millstone.’
      • ‘What is worse is that most of these suggestions are, at best modest, and often unambitious - even those that significantly modify the Senate, since it is considered by many to be anachronistic, marginal and even expendable.’
      • ‘The whole tone of this administration is dismally unambitious.’