over·​am·​bi·​tious ˌō-vər-am-ˈbi-shəs How to pronounce overambitious (audio)
: excessively ambitious
The reforms of the Great Society succeeded in markedly reducing poverty, although they fell short of President Lyndon B. Johnson's overambitious goals.Dennis H. Wrong
Dr. Godfrey, who has seen more than his share of the fallout from overambitious exercise programs, advises against jumping and pounding exercises for people over 50 …Jane E. Brody
… NASA's original plans for the shuttle were overambitious: the commitment to provide routine and economical access to space locked the agency into a schedule too tight to be met with the available resources.Scientific American
overambitiously adverb
planned overambitiously for the future
I overambitiously tried the traditional full Irish breakfast … Laura Reiley
overambitiousness noun
My hopes for another gardening season have once again been dashed by my overambitiousness and basically lazy nature. Michelle Kennedy

Examples of overambitious in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The company made decisions on hiring and new products last year that were overambitious, Mickos said. James Rundle, WSJ, 16 Aug. 2023 On several occasions, overambitious companies pressed even decrepit hulls back into service, such was the value and relative rarity of boats. David Reamer | Alaska History, Anchorage Daily News, 25 June 2023 Though holiday weekends have always been a bit of a gamble, crew staffing issues magnified by overambitious schedules means there’s now less slack in the system, Bob Mann, a longtime airline executive who now runs R.W. Mann & Company, an airline consulting company, said. New York Times, 1 July 2022 However, that may be overambitious. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 23 Mar. 2022 Each new play is putatively the work of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, a troupe of overambitious amateur thespians. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2023 Many women are considered overambitious and degraded for wanting to succeed, while those same characteristics are celebrated in men. Blake Morgan, Forbes, 12 Mar. 2021 Guillory’s original plan for Professing Criticism, ultimately abandoned as overambitious, was to write a chronological history of academic literary study in Britain and America from the medieval era to the present. Evan Kindley, The New York Review of Books, 16 Feb. 2023 Amazon Care wanted to have the agility of a start-up, but the company was sometimes overambitious about the scope and speed of the operation, three former employees said. Caroline O'Donovan, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overambitious.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1655, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of overambitious was circa 1655

Dictionary Entries Near overambitious

Cite this Entry

“Overambitious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overambitious. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

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