What does ambition mean?

Definitions for ambition
æmˈbɪʃ ənam·bi·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word ambition.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. ambition, aspiration, dreamnoun

    a cherished desire

    "his ambition is to own his own business"

  2. ambition, ambitiousnessverb

    a strong drive for success

  3. ambitionverb

    have as one's ambition


  1. ambitionnoun

    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.

  2. ambitionnoun

    An object of an ardent desire.

    My ambition is to own a helicopter.

  3. ambitionnoun

    A desire, as in (sense 1), for another person to achieve these things.

  4. ambitionnoun

    A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal.

  5. ambitionverb

    To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet.

    Pausanias, ambitioning the sovereignty of Greece, bargains with Xerxes for his daughter in marriage. uE000106558uE001 Trumbull.

  6. Etymology: From ambicion, from ambition, from ambitio, from ambio. See ambient, issue.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Ambitionnoun

    The desire of something higher than is possessed at present.

    Etymology: ambitio, Lat.

    Who would think, without having such a mind as Antiphilus, that so great goodness could not have bound gratefulness? and so high advancement not have satisfied his ambition? Philip Sidney.

    The quick’ning power would be, and so would rest;
    The sense would not be only, but be well:
    But wit’s ambition longeth to the best,
    For it desires in endless bliss to dwell. John Davies.

    Urge them, while their souls
    Are capable of this ambition;
    Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
    Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
    Cool and congeal again to what it was. William Shakespeare, K. John.

    I had a very early ambition to recommend my self to your Lordship’s patronage. Addison.

    There was an ambition of wit, and an affectation of gayety. Alexander Pope, Letters. Preface to his.


  1. ambition

    Ambition is a strong desire and determination to achieve a particular goal or success. It often refers to a person's aspiration, drive, or motivation to accomplish something significant or to strive for higher achievements in life.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Ambitionnoun

    the act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing

  2. Ambitionnoun

    an eager, and sometimes an inordinate, desire for preferment, honor, superiority, power, or the attainment of something

  3. Ambitionverb

    to seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet

  4. Etymology: [F. ambition, L. ambitio a going around, especially of candidates for office is Rome, to solicit votes (hence, desire for office or honor), fr. ambire to go around. See Ambient, Issue.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Ambition

    am-bish′un, n. the desire of power, honour, fame, excellence.—n. Ambi′tionist (Carlyle), an ambitious man.—adj. Ambi′tious, full of ambition (with of, formerly for): strongly desirous of anything—esp. power: aspiring: indicating ambition: showy or pretentious.—adv. Ambi′tiously.—n. Ambi′tiousness. [Fr.—L. ambition-em, the going about—that is, the canvassing for votes practised by candidates for office in Rome—ambi, about, and īre, itum, to go.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. ambition

    In a military sense, signifies a desire of greater posts or honors. Every person in the army or navy ought to have a spirit of emulation to arrive at the very summit of the profession by his personal merit.

Suggested Resources

  1. ambition

    Song lyrics by ambition -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by ambition on the Lyrics.com website.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'ambition' in Nouns Frequency: #1648

How to pronounce ambition?

How to say ambition in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambition in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of ambition in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of ambition in a Sentence

  1. Leslie Miklosy:

    Ambition's true reward can only be gotten without ambition's trade.

  2. Salman Khan:

    My life's ambition is to take Being Human to such a level that a 100 years or 200 years down the line, it should be the biggest brand in the world, the actor would be forgotten, but it would be difficult for anybody to surpass this mammoth of a charitable trust. My life's ambition is for people to know that the money goes towards charity and not towards administrative costs.

  3. Fardan:

    A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive. Having been alive, it won't be so hard in the end to lie down and rest.

  4. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson:

    The scale of our ambition in the American region meant we needed a member of our executive management team with the drive, determination and motivation to make it happen.

  5. Bryant McGill:

    Ambition is not what a man would do, but what a man does, for ambition without action is fantasy.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for ambition

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"ambition." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 11 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/ambition>.

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    boldly resisting authority or an opposing force
    • A. ultimo
    • B. adscripted
    • C. defiant
    • D. contiguous

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