From Middle English ambicion < Old French ambition < Latin ambitio (“‘ambition, a striving for favor, literally 'a going around', especially of candidates for office in Rome soliciting votes’”) < ambiō (“‘I go around, solicit votes’”). See ambient, issue.
- An eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, honor, superiority, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other people.
- A desire, as in (1), for another person to achieve these things.
- The purported pathway to a chosen career.
- A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal.
- A four-player card game of tricks played mainly in North America, Europe, and Japan. 
“I said that he was my superior in observation and deduction. If the art of the detective began and ended in reasoning from an arm-chair, my brother would be the greatest criminal agent that ever lived. But he has no ambition and no energy. He will not even go out of his way to verify his own solution, and would rather be considered wrong than take the trouble to prove himself right. Again and again I have taken a problem to him, and have received an explanation which has afterwards proved to be the correct one. And yet he was absolutely incapable of working out the practical points which must be gone into before a case could be laid before a judge or jury.”
—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The Greek Interpreter
“I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.”
—Macbeth in Shakespeare's MacBeth
“'Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.”
—Ross in Shakespeare's MacBeth
- Ambition in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- Ambition in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- Genitive singular form of ambitio.
Ambition f. (plural Ambitions)
- ambition (feeling)
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