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

Later this summer, Kent and Katz will add an ambitious fine-dining concept and a bar on the top floors of the 970-foot-tall building, which once housed offices for executives at Cities Service (now known as Citgo) and later AIG. ... Howie Kahn, WSJ, "This FiDi Restaurant Hopes to Feel “Like a Party in a Penthouse”," 16 May 2019 But to preface this ambitious moonshot, Bezos also laid out a convincing argument as to why humanity’s future may no longer be on Earth or any other planetary surface. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Why the World's Richest Man Wants Humans To Live on Floating Space Cities," 10 May 2019 Both Jason and Britany had some ambitious renovations ahead, so timing was a major concern. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Best Room Wins Episode Two Steps Up to the Challenge of Contemporary," 9 May 2019 But Hondo is an evolution beyond anything Disney has ever attempted, and offers a moving, talking glimpse into Disney’s newest, largest, and most ambitious attraction. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "The A1000 Is Disney's Advanced Animatronic Bringing the Galaxy's Edge Star Wars Theme Park To Life," 28 Feb. 2019 Microsoft is unveiling an ambitious effort to overhaul its search experience in Office, Windows, Bing and more today. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft Search will power search results across Office, Windows, and more," 24 Sep. 2018 City staff and members of the Chamber of Commerce have engaged in ambitious efforts to lure craft brewers and investors located south of the border. David Hernandez,, "National City looks to attract breweries south of the border," 28 June 2018 The Cartoon Saloon movie deal is part of a more ambitious video production effort. Fortune, "Apple's Big Content Plans Just Got Bigger—It Wants to Make Feature Films," 15 June 2018 Proponents acknowledged all the criticism, but countered that these weren’t good enough reasons for environmentalists to thwart an ambitious effort to tackle climate change. Kate Yoder, WIRED, "Can This State Finally Put a Price on Carbon?," 7 June 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.

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First Known Use of ambitious

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

History and Etymology for ambitious

see ambition entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near ambitious





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Statistics for ambitious

Last Updated

19 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ambitious

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

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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


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

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


a strong desire or propensity

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