"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[am-bish-uh s] /æmˈbɪʃ əs/
having ambition; eagerly desirous of achieving or obtaining success, power, wealth, a specific goal, etc.:
ambitious students.
showing or caused by ambition or an earnest desire for achievement or distinction:
an ambitious attempt to break the record.
strongly desirous; eager:
ambitious of love and approval.
requiring exceptional effort, ability, etc.:
an ambitious program for eliminating all slums.
Origin of ambitious
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin ambitiōsus, equivalent to ambiti(ō) ambition + -ōsus -ous
Related forms
ambitiously, adverb
ambitiousness, noun
nonambitious, adjective
nonambitiously, adverb
nonambitiousness, noun
overambitious, adjective
overambitiously, adverb
overambitiousness, noun
unambitious, adjective
unambitiously, adverb
unambitiousness, noun
1. Ambitious, aspiring, enterprising describe a person who wishes to rise above his or her present position or condition. The ambitious person wishes to attain worldly success, and puts forth effort toward this end: ambitious for social position. The enterprising person, interested especially in wealth, is characterized by energy and daring in undertaking projects. The aspiring person wishes to rise (mentally or spiritually) to a higher level or plane, or to attain some end above ordinary expectations.
1. apathetic, lackadaisical. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ambitious
  • Just a half hour train ride away, a rather more ambitious theme park is under construction.
  • He has not been assertive, ambitious, clear — or audacious — enough.
  • The goal is ambitious and costly even over a longer time frame.
  • How an ambitious experiment in ecological living led to a goat pen.
  • But now, it is playing a more ambitious and potentially more risky role.
  • Fairly solid game, ambitious in scope of players, but just a little rough around the edges.
  • However, they take much of what they are told at face value and provide only superficial analysis of their ambitious undertaking.
  • The entire semester was quite an ambitious intellectual ride.
  • One cannot be ambitious without being motivated, but one can be motivated without being ambitious.
  • Indigo has set an ambitious goal of reaching 50% of recycled paper content in books within five years.
British Dictionary definitions for ambitious


having a strong desire for success or achievement; wanting power, money, etc
necessitating extraordinary effort or ability: an ambitious project
(often foll by of) having a great desire (for something or to do something)
Derived Forms
ambitiously, adverb
ambitiousness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ambitious

late 14c., from Latin ambitiosus "going around to canvass for office," from ambitio (see ambition). Related: Ambitiously.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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