a. An eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power.
b. The object or goal desired: Her ambition is the presidency.
2. Desire for exertion or activity; energy: had no ambition to go dancing.
[Middle English ambicioun, excessive desire for honor, power, or wealth, from Old French ambition, from Latin ambitiō, ambitiōn-, from ambitus, past participle of ambīre, to go around (for votes); see AMBIENT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.