Definition of ambition in US English:

ambition

noun

  • 1A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

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

/æmˈbɪʃ(ə)n//amˈbiSH(ə)n/