Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power.
  • n. The object or goal desired: Her ambition is the presidency.
  • n. Desire for exertion or activity; energy: had no ambition to go dancing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other people.
  • n. An object of an ardent desire.
  • n. A desire, as in (sense 1), for another person to achieve these things.
  • n. A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal.
  • v. To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing.
  • n. An eager, and sometimes an inordinate, desire for preferment, honor, superiority, power, or the attainment of something.
  • transitive v. To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office or other object of desire; a canvassing.
  • n. An eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other men: often used in a good sense: as, ambition to be good.
  • n. Hence The object of ambitious desire.
  • To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; aspire to; be ambitious of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. have as one's ambition
  • n. a cherished desire
  • n. a strong drive for success

Etymologies

Middle English ambicioun, excessive desire for honor, power, or wealth, from Old French ambition, from Latin ambitiō, ambitiōn-, from ambitus, past participle of ambīre, to go around (for votes); see ambient.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English ambicion, from Old French ambition, from Latin ambitio ("ambition, a striving for favor, literally 'a going around', especially of candidates for office in Rome soliciting votes"), from ambiō ("I go around, solicit votes"). See ambient, issue. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The main ambition is to lose some weight and get myself into better shape, which basically means covering some ground again and this time applying that old willpower to maintaining the state.

    Sometimes I wake up and wonder what world this is

  • Whoever thinks we are a one issue party i am afraid they are wrong, i must assume this person has never heard of a 'Manifesto' yes this describes what the party wants to achieve, i take it the EDP's manifesto has not been read by this person, yes the main ambition is parity for England as was plaid cymru's for Wales and the Scottish National party for Scotland.

    Should England Have its Own Parliament?

  • Our main ambition is to raise as many children as we can afford and give them all the love we have in us.

    Spoon, Donald R.

  • People often use the word ambition as a negative, but I can't see anything wrong with being driven.

    The Guardian World News

  • But if your ambition is a one-party state and irreversible changes, then things are going right according to plan.

    This sums up the Democratic Congressional strategy perfectly. - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState

  • In young women the erotic wishes predominate almost exclusively, for their ambition is as a rule absorbed by erotic trends.

    Attached to Reading: Mary Shelley's Psychical Reality

  • Petkoff at 74 year old cannot have more than a one term ambition, and as Reagan was, is old enough to measure what real glory is e.g., leaving a functional country behind and old enough to not only know the value of delegating power, but on how to do it, on whom to delegate.

    04/16/2006 - 04/23/2006

  • The ANC was opposed to what he described as ambition for ambition's sake or for personal gain. lso of concern was a lack of management skills among officials in government departments.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • And it is the desire to be a factor in the world, to increase the scope and consequence of one's self that is the leading ingredient in what we call ambition, and the desire for fame, and at least one ingredient in the desire for wealth.

    Human Traits and their Social Significance

  • After a country storekeeper has accumulated $20,000 or $30,000 his ambition is to be the President of a bank and he starts one with his own capital, giving some of his family or friends enough shares to qualify as Directors and comply with the Act: Thus, with $25,000 he can start a National Bank, with all the legal powers and functions of a great New York or Chicago institution.

    The Banking Systems of Canada and the United States

Comments

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  • His Carmen Moralzes

    July 15, 2013

  • *a strong wish to achieve something what we want
    *a strong desire to be successful

    May 14, 2009

  • feeling that someone wants to be

    May 14, 2009

  • a goal or a strong desire for success

    May 14, 2009

  • Ehrgeiz

    An eager or strong desire to achieve something

    Ambition spurred him to success.

    May 14, 2009