(1)   A strong drive for success
(2)   A cherished desire
"His ambition is to own his own business"


(3)   Have as one's ambition


From < < < . See ambient, issue.


  1. 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.
  2. A desire, as in (1), for another person to achieve these things.
  3. The purported pathway to a chosen career.
  4. A personal quality similar to motivation, not necessarily tied to a single goal.
  5. 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