Definition of unambitious in English:



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

    ‘he was an unambitious man’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Zapa is a slow, passive, unambitious 32-year-old locksmith, working in a small country town in Argentina.’
    • ‘But this turn of events crystallises her relationship with her loving, if unambitious, husband.’
    • ‘Ricky and I were the most unambitious people ever.’
    • ‘Sargent is portrayed as modest, self-denying and unambitious, the antithesis of the preening Oxford peacocks.’
    • ‘Anyone who chooses to stay at home with their kids is seen as woefully unambitious and deserving of contempt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He is good with the kids, but too unambitious to make anything of his life.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A country for tenacious, uncommunicative, unambitious tacticians, Turkey bores me to death.’
    • ‘Surely this is just a way of kidding ourselves, though, since it will make us complacent and unambitious?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the Scottish context, it is quite easy to be unambitious, to aim low.’
    • ‘Fraudley Harrison, a supremely outstanding amateur turned incredibly unambitious professional, claimed last week: ‘My plan is to be heavyweight champion of the world.’’
    • ‘Undermanned, unambitious and passionate only when circumstances demanded, they were given what they deserved.’
    • ‘His whiskers describe him: bland, unambitious, conservative.’
    • ‘‘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’
      • ‘Critics claim the plan is unambitious and Scotland should settle for nothing less than a Glasgow-Edinburgh bullet train and extra stations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of the remaining six targets have already been missed, are unambitious, cannot be verified or are unlikely to be achieved, he added.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The whole tone of this administration is dismally unambitious.’
      • ‘So what unambitious project are all these brains working on?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You get the feeling Intel didn't appreciate that AMD embrace and has played a role in IBM's unambitious Opteron product plans.’
      • ‘Mr Sheerman yesterday told the Yorkshire Post he had heard rumours that the TransPennine franchise would be relatively unambitious.’
      • ‘Before founding FlavorX, Kramm had been content to live a quiet and relatively unambitious life working in a family pharmacy.’
      • ‘The ideas, they said, were unambitious and lacking in vision.’
      • ‘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.’