ambitious

adjective
am·​bi·​tious | \ am-ˈbi-shəs How to pronounce ambitious (audio) \

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web President Biden selling his ambitious agenda to the American people. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 5-2-21: Jake Sullivan, Sen. John Barrasso, Adm. Mike Mullen & Dr. Ashish Jha," 2 May 2021 With such expensive and wide-ranging programs, Biden has not shied away from comparisons between his own ambitious legislative agenda and those championed by a pair of his Democratic predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Jonathan Lemire, chicagotribune.com, "Biden presidency enters more perilous phase after first 100 days," 1 May 2021 With such expensive and wide-ranging programs, Biden has not shied away from comparisons between his own ambitious legislative agenda and those championed by a pair of his Democratic predecessors, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Jonathan Lemire, Star Tribune, "More perilous phase ahead for Biden after his 1st 100 days," 1 May 2021 The response provides an opportunity for Scott, a rising star in the Republican Party, to outline an alternative to the president's ambitious legislative agenda. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Biden declares "it's good to be back" in speech that highlights ambitious plans," 29 Apr. 2021 While Richard Nixon also promoted an ambitious domestic agenda in the White House, his first 100 days contained no major achievements. Robert Speel, The Conversation, "Measuring a president’s first 100 days goes back to the New Deal," 29 Apr. 2021 Indeed, as Cruz appeared to snooze, Biden outlined an ambitious agenda — including universal preschool and free community college, tax increases on corporations and the very wealthy, and systemic changes to policing. Washington Post, "Ted Cruz was roasted for appearing to nod off as Biden spoke. He blamed the president: 'Boring, but radical.’," 29 Apr. 2021 Markets briefly tumbled last week on concerns over sharply higher capital gains taxes to pay for Biden's ambitious agenda. Matt Egan, CNN, "Biden at 100 days: Hottest stock market since JFK," 29 Apr. 2021 Biden hosted a two-day virtual summit this month, drawing leaders from 40 countries to commit to more ambitious national commitments to lower carbon emissions ahead of a November summit in Scotland. Los Angeles Times, "Biden’s promises for his first 100 days: Kept, broken and incomplete," 28 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of ambitious

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

History and Etymology for ambitious

Middle English ambicious "overweening, craving," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French ambicieus "striving for success, seeking glory," borrowed from Latin ambitiōsus "anxious to win favor, eager for advancement," from ambitiō "act of soliciting for votes, desire for advancement" + -ōsus -ous — more at ambition entry 1

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Time Traveler for ambitious

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ambitious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ambitious. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce ambitious (audio) \

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

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Comments on ambitious

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