Share this entry

ambitious Line breaks: am|bi¦tious
Pronunciation: /amˈbɪʃəs/

Definition of ambitious in English:


1Having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed: a ruthlessly ambitious woman
More example sentences
  • Is he ambitious and keen to succeed by seeing you enjoy commercial success?
  • As Cesarani demonstrates, Eichmann was an ambitious man determined to do his job well.
  • They were determined and ambitious in their playing, but their performances were a mixed bag.
aspiring, determined, forceful, pushy, enterprising, pioneering, progressive, eager, motivated, driven, enthusiastic, energetic, zealous, committed, go-ahead, go-getting, purposeful, assertive, aggressive, hungry, power-hungry
informalon the make
eager, determined, enthusiastic, desirous, anxious, hungry, impatient, striving, yearning, longing, wishing, itching, dying, hoping, avid, hankering;
intent on
1.1(Of a plan or piece of work) intended to satisfy high aspirations and therefore difficult to achieve: an ambitious enterprise
More example sentences
  • The project proposes the most ambitious plans for the parish church in over 100 years.
  • It was a bold and ambitious plan that took no account of the terrain or local conditions.
  • To make the ambitious plans work, the house next door also had to be bought.
bold, grandiose, extravagant, monumental
informalkilling, hellish
British informalknackering



Pronunciation: /amˈbɪʃəsli/
Example sentences
  • Most ambitiously, in 1961 an 11-metre-tall Jacob Epstein sculpture was displayed on the roof of Waverley Market.
  • He dealt with something ambitiously named ‘life coaching’, which is a service that some businesses provide for top staff.
  • ‘I see us competing for the national championship,’ he declared ambitiously.


Pronunciation: /amˈbɪʃəsnəs/
Example sentences
  • She tried to figure out when she lost her drive, her ambitiousness, when she lost her will power.
  • Inherent in this are his qualities of individuality, ambitiousness, justice, and straightforwardness.
  • But it has a depth and ambitiousness that are worthy of praise.


Late Middle English: from Old French ambitieux or Latin ambitiosus, from ambitio (see ambition).

Words that rhyme with ambitious

adventitious, Aloysius, auspicious, avaricious, capricious, conspicuous, delicious, expeditious, factitious, fictitious, flagitious, judicious, lubricious, malicious, Mauritius, meretricious, nutritious, officious, pernicious, propitious, repetitious, seditious, siliceous, superstitious, suppositious, surreptitious, suspicious, vicious

Definition of ambitious in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources