Synonyms & Antonyms of ambition

1 eager desire for personal advancement
  • "Talent without ambition will not make you a star," the singer's voice coach liked to remind her

Synonyms for ambition

Words Related to ambition

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2 readiness to engage in daring or difficult activity
  • the ambition shown by the undersea explorers of the Mariana Trench, the deepest in the world

Synonyms for ambition

Words Related to ambition

Near Antonyms for ambition

3 something that one hopes or intends to accomplish
  • his ambition is to study international business, then get a job overseas

Synonyms for ambition

Words Related to ambition

Phrases Synonymous with ambition

Near Antonyms for ambition

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About ambition

How is the word ambition different from other nouns like it?

The words aspiration and pretension are common synonyms of ambition. While all three words 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

When would aspiration be a good substitute for ambition?

Although the words aspiration and ambition have much in common, aspiration implies a striving after something higher than oneself.

an aspiration to become president someday

In what contexts can pretension take the place of ambition?

In some situations, the words pretension and ambition are roughly equivalent. However, pretension suggests ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability and therefore may imply presumption.

has literary pretensions

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Time Traveler for ambition

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Ambition.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ambition

Nglish: Translation of ambition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ambition for Arabic Speakers


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