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1

ambition

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noun am·bi·tion \am-ˈbi-shən\

Simple Definition of ambition

  • : a particular goal or aim : something that a person hopes to do or achieve

  • : a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous

  • : a desire to do things and be active

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ambition

  1. 1 a :  an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power b :  desire to achieve a particular end

  2. 2 :  the object of ambition <her ambition is to start her own business>

  3. 3 :  a desire for activity or exertion <felt sick and had no ambition>

ambitionlessplay \-ləs\ adjective

Examples of ambition in a sentence

  1. My first ambition as a child was to be in the circus.

  2. He lacked ambition and couldn't compete with the others.



Origin of ambition

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin ambition-, ambitio, literally, act of soliciting for votes, from ambire


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of ambition

ambition, aspiration, pretension mean strong desire for advancement. ambition applies to the desire for personal advancement or preferment and may suggest equally a praiseworthy or an inordinate desire <driven by ambition>. aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself <an aspiration to become president someday>. pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption <has literary pretensions>.

2

ambition

verb am·bi·tion

Definition of ambition

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to have as one's ambition :  desire



1664

First Known Use of ambition

1664



AMBITION Defined for Kids

ambition

play
noun am·bi·tion \am-ˈbi-shən\

Definition of ambition for Students

  1. 1 :  a desire for success, honor, or power

  2. 2 :  something a person hopes to do or achieve <My ambition is to become a jet pilot.>

  3. 3 :  the drive to do things and be active <I'm tired and have no ambition.>



History for ambition

Like the candidates of today, some men ran for public office in ancient Rome by going around and asking people to vote for them. The Latin word for this practice, ambitio, came from a verb meaning “to go around.” Since looking for votes showed “a desire for power or honor,” the Latin word took on that meaning. The English word ambition came from the Latin word.



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