Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near ambition

Cite this Entry

“Ambition.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on ambition

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