ambitious

adjective
am·​bi·​tious | \ am-ˈbi-shəs \

Definition of ambitious

1a : having or controlled by ambition : having a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous an ambitious young executive
b : having a desire to achieve a particular goal : aspiring ambitious for power
2 : resulting from, characterized by, or showing ambition an ambitious film

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ambitious

ambitiously adverb
ambitiousness noun

Examples of ambitious in a Sentence

The company was created by two very ambitious young men in the early 1900s. This 500-page book is her most ambitious effort yet. Your plans for the future are very ambitious. It was too ambitious a task for just one person.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The need for a larger bathroom may have sparked this ambitious remodel, but the kitchen also played a defining role. Nick Sullivan, ELLE Decor, "A Snug New York Bachelor Pad Is Morphed Into a Swank and Spacious Home," 20 Nov. 2018 That seems like a lot of money, but your plans are very ambitious. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Space Launch Legend Who's Backing a Startup," 8 Nov. 2018 In this way, the Liesses' show is a return to programs packed with more manageable projects as opposed to highly ambitious (and highly expensive) flips. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About David and Lauren Liess's New DIY Network Show," 6 Nov. 2018 But officials soon decided that was too ambitious and scaled back the target to $46 billion over five years, according to a former senior Pentagon official. Dan Lamothe, The Seattle Times, "Mattis’ goals teeter as he works to temper Trump," 15 Oct. 2018 The parks department may have been too ambitious in projecting completion dates for the work, said parks director Dan West. Larry Barszewski, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Several parks promised in 2000 proving a challenge to finish," 6 July 2018 Last week he and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, had issued a joint initiative on euro-zone reform that was more ambitious than some French observers had dared hope. The Economist, "After months of preparation, a damp squib on euro-zone reform," 29 June 2018 The emissions targets reached in the first Paris accord were not ambitious enough, and were meant to set the table for continuous ratchets. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Wishes He Could Destroy Obama’s Legacy. He Hasn’t. And Won’t.," 20 May 2018 Given California's size, the law is one of the most ambitious in the US. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "California transit agencies have 21 years to build zero-emissions bus fleets," 16 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ambitious.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ambitious

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ambitious

see ambition entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ambitious

Dictionary Entries near ambitious

ambisyllabic

ambit

ambition

ambitious

ambitious for

ambitty

ambitus

Statistics for ambitious

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ambitious

The first known use of ambitious was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ambitious

ambitious

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ambitious

: having ambition : having a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous

: not easily done or achieved : requiring or showing ambition

ambitious

adjective
am·​bi·​tious | \ am-ˈbi-shəs \

Kids Definition of ambitious

1 : possessing a desire for success, honor, or power
2 : not easily done or achieved She has an ambitious plan to become a doctor.

Other Words from ambitious

ambitiously adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on ambitious

What made you want to look up ambitious? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!