• WordNet 3.6
    • adj ambitious having a strong desire for success or achievement
    • adj ambitious requiring full use of your abilities or resources "ambitious schedule","performed the most challenging task without a mistake"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Ambitious Possessing, or controlled by, ambition; greatly or inordinately desirous of power, honor, office, superiority, or distinction. "Yet Brutus says he was ambitious ,
      And Brutus is an honorable man."
    • Ambitious Springing from, characterized by, or indicating, ambition; showy; aspiring; as, an ambitious style. "A giant statue . . . Pushed by a wild and artless race,
      From off wide, ambitious base."
    • Ambitious Strongly desirous; -- followed by of or the infinitive; as, ambitious to be or to do something. "I was not ambitious of seeing this ceremony.""Studious of song, and yet ambitious not to sing in vain."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • ambitious Characterized by or possessing ambition; eagerly or inordinately desirous of obtaining power, superiority, or distinction.
    • ambitious Strongly desirous; eager: with of (formerly for) or an infinitive.
    • ambitious Springing from or indicating ambition.
    • ambitious Hence Showy; pretentious: as, an ambitious style; ambitious ornament.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Ambitious full of ambition (with of, formerly for): strongly desirous of anything—esp. power: aspiring: indicating ambition: showy or pretentious
    • ***


  • Robert Burton
    “Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.”
  • Jean De La Bruyere
    “A slave has but one master. An ambitious man, has as many as there are people who helped him get his fortune.”
  • William Shakespeare
    “As he was valiant, I honor him. But as he was ambitious, I slew him.”
  • Sir Philip Sidney
    “To be ambitious of true honor, of the true glory and perfection of our natures, is the very principle and incentive of virtue.”
  • Ernest Renan
    “To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.”
  • Philip II
    Philip II
    “O how small a portion of earth will hold us when we are dead, who ambitiously seek after the whole world while we are living.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. ambitiosus,: cf. F. ambitieux,. See Ambition
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.


In literature:

Here Flecknoe, as a place to fame well known, Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne.
"English Satires" by Various
Manizen had a daughter who cherished ambitious views.
"The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 7. (of 7): The Sassanian or New Persian Empire" by George Rawlinson
The Noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious.
"The Art of Public Speaking" by Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
I'm not ambitious socially.
"The Clarion" by Samuel Hopkins Adams
Adalbert, while a churchman of great ability, was a courtier full of ambitious views.
"Historical Tales, Vol 5 (of 15)" by Charles Morris
The new king, James IV, was young, brave, and ambitious.
"An Outline of the Relations between England and Scotland (500-1707)" by Robert S. Rait
Already he had acquired a sunny suburban home in Kent, and was ambitious to hold a seat in Parliament.
"The Harris-Ingram Experiment" by Charles E. Bolton
Those ambitious and too powerful vassals were not the greatest evils menacing the Carlovingian kings.
"A Short History of France" by Mary Platt Parmele
As a youth he was ambitious and cultivated the friendship of the great.
"Tacitus: The Histories, Volumes I and II" by Caius Cornelius Tacitus
He's very ambitious, you know, and devoted to politics.
"A Lost Leader" by E. Phillips Oppenheim

In poetry:

In vain parental cacklings,
In vain the cold sky's frown,
Ambitious goosey tried to soar,
But always tumbled down.
"The Lay Of A Golden Goose" by Louisa May Alcott
But what simpletons, should we choose,
With nought to gain and much to loose,
'Gainst Austria to war;
What greater folly, when we know
By doing this, we'll get a blow
From the ambitious Czar.
"To A Friend InThe City" by Mary Ann H T Bigelow
Too ambitious boy!
I did but promise thee one hour of joy.
This tour thou plannest, with a heart so light,
Could hardly be completed in a night.
Hast thou no craving less remote than this?
"The Pierrot Of The Minute" by Ernest Christopher Dowson
Altho this Knight was borne a Prince
Zit none wold do him reuerence,
Whiche I lamented muche, bevaild:
And of his sorowes took a pairt,
But lo his proud ambitious hairt,
Calamitye hade nere assaild.
"The Avthor To His Patrone" by Patrick Gordon
His name Penardo he me told,
A youth ambitious, hardy, bold,
His trauell, lyfe and deads hes beine,
A warre, betuixt ambitione strong,
And craftie loue, that lested long,
Which be the sequel shal be seine.
"The Avthor To His Patrone" by Patrick Gordon
And farmers, whom he had argued
To corners tight and fast,
Would wink at each other and chuckle,
And grin at him as he passed,
As to say, "My ambitious old fellow, your whiffletree's straightened at last."
"Uncle Sammy" by William McKendree Carleton

In news:

The ambitious fox and the unattainable grapes.
Local Hispanic newscaster Marco Dominguez will debut a weekly radio program on Saturday, but only after his ambitious television project folded within a year of launching.
With Hurricane Sandy barreling down on the Eastern Seaboard, production has shut down on several TV shows and films -- including filmmaker Darren Aronofsky's ambitious biblical epic Noah.
Iran's plan for 10 new nuclear fuel plants 'laughably ambitious'.
An ambitious French gangster epic leaves Michael Mann's Dillinger biopic in the shade.
SHORTLY after losing the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore embarked on an arguably even more ambitious campaign: to save the planet from destruction by global warming.
It is an ambitious program by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles.
Here's one of the more ambitious -- and oddly beautiful -- videos about what someone can do with a whole lot of brightly coloured toys, time, patience and vision.
After nearly a decade of ambitious programs that put a laptop in the hands of every student, have they made any difference.
On Wednesday night, playing music from his wildly ambitious robot-band album, Orchestrion .
The 1960s saw KCSB evolve from a scrappy, dorm-based carrier-current operation to an ambitious campus broadcaster to a Class D-licensed radio station putting out ten watts of music, news, and entertainment to UCSB and its surroundings.
Cream Calendar Embarrassing Retro-'90s Package Tour Ambitiously Headed for Bridgestone Arena Aug 6.
INTERVIEWS Of Montreal Taking ' Paralytic Stalks' on Ambitious 2012 Tour.
NOVA explores the ambitious, three decade-long restoration of the Parthenon and reveals a number of surprising secrets that help explain how the ancient Athenians constructed this unique architectural icon.
Giant, the ambitious Michael John LaChiusa-Sybille Pearson musical based on Edna Ferber's sweeping Texas-set novel about love, greed and power that spans generations, received its New York debut Oct 26 Off-Broadway at the Public Theater.

In science:

Over the past seven years or so there has been an ambitious program dedicated to finding appropriate equations for dealing with high density wavefunctions in QCD.
Parton Saturation-An Overview
These requirements were pointing to a PFRICH type solution because of its simplicity, although alternative more ambitious options could have been taken.
Experimental study of a proximity focusing Cherenkov counter prototype for the AMS experiment
The programme is however ambitious and full of promise, and should ultimately yield a full picture of the critical behaviour — including values of exponents — of random-cluster models, and hence of Ising/Potts models, with q ≤ 4.
The Random-Cluster Model
The study of a new, generalized mechanics beyond classical mechanics (CM) and quantum mechanics (QM) is often regarded as ambitious, because QM has been applied to very broad areas of physics with indisputable success.
Cubic Matrix, Nambu Mechanics and Beyond
We omit the proof, leaving it as an exercise for the ambitious reader.
Additive functionals on random search trees