Ambitions



an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment:
Too much ambition caused him to be disliked by his colleagues.
the object, state, or result desired or sought after:
The crown was his ambition.
desire for work or activity; energy:
I awoke feeling tired and utterly lacking in ambition.
to seek after earnestly; aspire to.
Contemporary Examples

Excerpted from His Own Rules: The ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld by Bradley Graham © 2009.
Rummy, My Friend? Bradley Graham June 23, 2009

He had ambitions and ideas that exceeded the superficiality of his industry.
Alexander McQueen’s Haunting World Robin Givhan April 10, 2011

The women are Charlotte, who will become a front-line nurse, and Greta, who will pursue her ambitions as a singer.
‘Generation War’ Lets World War II Germans Off Too Easily Jack Schwartz January 25, 2014

Since April their ambitions have grown and they’ve raised a bit of money.
VIDEO: What Do Israelis Wish For Iranians? Elisheva Goldberg August 4, 2013

That he and Amélie Gautreau were both Americans was by no means immaterial to their ambitions.
The Scandal of Madame X David McCullough May 21, 2011

Historical Examples

It was not an exalted niche to fill in life, but at least she had learned to fill it to perfection, and her ambitions were modest.
Ancestors Gertrude Atherton

Well, I don’t, of course, tell any of the men about my ambitions.
The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893 Various

But we are French, thought Simon, and we have no ambitions in Italy.
The Saracen: The Holy War Robert Shea

He was much pleased with her appearance and quite interested in her ambitions.
A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

Prominent in her manner was a helpless little confession of inadequacy to her ambitions that made her personality engaging.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

noun
strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction
something so desired; goal; aim
n.

mid-14c., from Middle French ambition or directly from Latin ambitionem (nominative ambitio) “a going around,” especially to solicit votes, hence “a striving for favor, courting, flattery; a desire for honor, thirst for popularity,” noun of action from past participle stem of ambire “to go around” (see ambient).

Rarely used in the literal sense in English, where it carries the secondary Latin sense of “eager or inordinate desire of honor or preferment.” In early use always pejorative, of inordinate or overreaching desire; ambition was grouped with pride and vainglory.

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  • Ambitious

    having ; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.: ambitious students. showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction: an ambitious attempt to break the record for number of wins in a single season. strongly desirous; eager: ambitious of love and approval. requiring exceptional […]

  • Ambitiously

    having ; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.: ambitious students. showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction: an ambitious attempt to break the record for number of wins in a single season. strongly desirous; eager: ambitious of love and approval. requiring exceptional […]



  • Ambitiousness

    having ; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.: ambitious students. showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction: an ambitious attempt to break the record for number of wins in a single season. strongly desirous; eager: ambitious of love and approval. requiring exceptional […]

  • Ambivalence

    uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things. Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions. Contemporary Examples People […]



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