ambition

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v ambition have as one's ambition
    • n ambition a strong drive for success
    • n ambition a cherished desire "his ambition is to own his own business"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ambition An eager, and sometimes an inordinate, desire for preferment, honor, superiority, power, or the attainment of something. "Cromwell, I charge thee, fling a way ambition :
      By that sin fell the angels."
      "The pitiful ambition of possessing five or six thousand more acres."
    • Ambition The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office, or any other object of desire; canvassing. "I] used no ambition to commend my deeds."
    • v. t Ambition To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; to covet. "Pausanias, ambitioning the sovereignty of Greece, bargains with Xerxes for his daughter in marriage."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ambition The act of going about to solicit or obtain an office or other object of desire; a canvassing.
    • n ambition An eager or inordinate desire for some object that confers distinction, as preferment, political power, or literary fame; desire to distinguish one's self from other men: often used in a good sense: as, ambition to be good.
    • n ambition Hence The object of ambitious desire.
    • ambition To seek after ambitiously or eagerly; aspire to; be ambitious of.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Ambition am-bish′un the desire of power, honour, fame, excellence
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Quotations

  • Angus Grossart
    Angus Grossart
    “I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”
  • David Hume
    David%20Hume
    “Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions.”
  • Joseph Joubert
    Joseph Joubert
    “Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.”
  • Yoshida Kenko
    Yoshida Kenko
    “Ambition never comes to an end.”
  • William Lilly
    William Lilly
    “Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham%20Lincoln
    “Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. ambition, L. ambitio, a going around, especially of candidates for office is Rome, to solicit votes (hence, desire for office or honor), fr. ambire, to go around. See Ambient Issue
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr.—L. ambition-em, the going about—that is, the canvassing for votes practised by candidates for office in Rome—ambi, about, and īre, itum, to go.

Usage

In literature:

Such a sign would speak volumes for the will power and ambition of the subject under examination.
"Palmistry for All" by Cheiro
To a mere Outsider it looked as if Ambition had certainly boosted his Nobs to the final Himalayan Peak of Human Happiness.
"Ade's Fables" by George Ade
So it is often with our hope, our faith, our ambition, our aspiration.
"How to Succeed" by Orison Swett Marden
In all this what 'hypocrisy,' 'ambition,' 'cant,' or other falsity?
"Sartor Resartus, and On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History" by Thomas Carlyle
Fanaticism, envy, depreciation of others, aggression, morbid and excessive ambition were all fruits from the same stem.
"The Psychology of Nations" by G.E. Partridge
There is no purer ambition than that which craves this crown for her mortal brow.
"Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women" by George Sumner Weaver
They tried him with bribes that would appeal to his ambition.
"The Promised Land" by Mary Antin
The material ambitions are not only always unfruitful but nearly always unfulfilled.
"A Short History of England" by G. K. Chesterton
He also thwarted the ambition of Florentine trade by purchasing the tower of Imola from Milan.
"Heroes of Modern Europe" by Alice Birkhead
Hereward had an ambition to join an Indian regiment.
"Etheldreda the Ready" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
He used also to note with amusement how indelible a mark certain early ambitions and tentative studies had made upon him.
"The Bibliotaph" by Leon H. Vincent
Whence came that all-absorbing ambition to be somebody in the world; to serve his country with no selfish ambition?
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
The end of his ambition is a locked compartment to himself.
"American Sketches" by Charles Whibley
All of these successes were to Wallenstein mere preliminary steps to an even more boundless ambition.
"The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 11" by Various
For all his little palpitating ambition, Nicky shrank.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
I was careless of that child, careful only of my ambition.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
He had a high, but at the same time a vague ambition.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
Circumstances made journalism highly convenient, but his literary ambition was always to be auxiliary to his legal ambition.
"The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I." by Sir Leslie Stephen
Amid these scenes of ambition and warfare he fell away for a time from his holiest aspirations.
"Great Men and Famous Women, Vol. 7 of 8"
For she loved her mistress, and could not comprehend the things she did under ambition's sway.
"The Martian Cabal" by Roman Frederick Starzl
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In poetry:

Ambition views the deed,
Nor sickens at the sight;
'Tis rather deem'd a grateful meed,
In which she takes delight.
"Enigma XXVIII." by Elizabeth Hitchener
Ambition for thy son restrain,
Thy will to God's will bow:
Thy son he shall be yet again.
And twice his mother thou.
"The Mother Mary" by George MacDonald
Near a town, now Ajazzo call'd,
On vast Cilicia's plain,
Ambition once stood unappall'd,
Amongst her thousands slain.
"Enigma XXVI." by Elizabeth Hitchener
Fools of the bread and circus,
fools who have frittered away
our youth and our fire and ambition
in aping empty play.
"Nation Of The Blind" by Ian Mudie
The heroine of nature, she
No vain ambition knew,
Her bairns and goats she nurs'd with glee,
To love and labour true.
"The Eagle" by William Hayley
Ambition faints from out the will;
Asleep sad longing lies;
All hope of good, all fear of ill,
All need of action dies;
"A Hidden Life" by George MacDonald

In news:

When we don't have the time or ambition to whip up a meal at home we head out and let somebody else do the cooking for us.
Ear-worm catchiness, rumbling polyrhythms, sparkling keyboards, tight harmonies and starry-eyed ambitions.
Ambit Biosciences gets $25mm in first tranche of Series E financing.
Or with more varied ambitions.
Fisker's Unbridled Ambitions Extending to an SUV, Boats.
Henrik Fisker's ambitions officially are approaching delusional.
One branch of local opinion held, despite a spate of positive reviews, that the book wasn't good enough, that it was too histrionic and burdened by its Joycean ambitions.
That might have been a statement of her ambition.
As a Portland-based rock band with a growing fan base and national ambitions, the Slants figured it wouldn't hurt to take care of some business interests.
A recent appearance by LINES at the Joyce Theater in New York suggests a clear and far more expansive ambition: King is redirecting ballet away from its centuries-old European orientation and establishing it on a new axis.
The political process is to call for the protection of navigation rights in disputed eastern Asian waters, amid growing US concern over China's ambitions.
Designed for the buyer who had ambitions of moving materials at a frequent rate, most of these cars left the assembly lines with Naugahyde-like vinyl upholstery.
Ambition only goes so fast.
Ambition will make a sled go only so fast.
Businesses and NGOs call for carbon ambition at Doha.
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In science:

For the sake of completeness we also describe the universal (Bohr) compactification and universal G-ambit in model-theoretic terms, when G is a topological group (although it is essentially well-known).
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
Let us note immediately that a compactification of the topological group G is a special case of continuous action of G on a compact space X , where X has a distinguished point x0 with dense orbit under G (a so-called G-ambit.) Again there is a universal G-ambit.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
For the more general case of G-flows, the explication of the universal G-ambit via the Samuel compactification of G (, ), with respect to the right uniformity on G, is basically equivalent to the model-theoretic account that we give below.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
By a G-ambit (X, x0 , G) we mean a G-flow (X, G) together with a point x0 ∈ X such that the orbit G · x0 is dense in X .
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
There is a universal G-ambit, sometimes called S (G), with distinguished point e say: for every G-flow (X, G) and p ∈ X there is a unique map of G-flows from S (G) to X which takes e to p.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
The universal G-ambit is unique, by definition.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
Then E is G-invariant, and G∗/E with the logic topology and distinguished point 1/E is the universal G-ambit.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
The universal G-ambit S (G) has a canonical semigroup structure (which in the proof of Theorem 2.1 in is seen to follow directly from the universality property of S (G)).
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
Clearly it suffices for the universal G-ambit to have this property.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
A definable G-ambit is a definable G-flow (X, G) with a distinguished point x0 ∈ X such that the orbit G · x0 is dense in X .
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
Under our definability of types assumption, definable G-ambits will have this property.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
There is a (unique) universal definable G-ambit, which is precisely the type space SG (M ), under the natural action of G, where the distinguished element of SG (M ) is the identity element 1 of G.
On compactifications and the topological dynamics of definable groups
The ambition of this Review is much more restricted.
What collisional debris can tell us about galaxies
Here we are again concerned with the rule-based approach, but at a higher ambition level than was the case with my previous work.
Three studies of grammar-based surface-syntactic parsing of unrestricted English text. A summary and orientation
Stromlo Workshop on High-Velocity Clouds exceeded even our own fairly lofty ambitions.
Stromlo Workshop on High-Velocity Clouds - Conference Highlights
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