A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
        Search Transcribed Entries:


View Scan · View Transcription · from page 121

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 121

Ambi'tion. n.s. [ambitio, Lat.] The desire of something higher than is possessed at present.

  1. The desire of preferment or honour.

    Who would think, without having such a mind as Antiphilus, that so great goodness could not have bound gratefulness? and so high advancement not have satisfied his ambition? Sidn.

  2. The desire of any thing great or excellent.

    The quick'ning power would be, and so would rest;
    The sense would not be only, but be well:
    But wit's ambition longeth to the best,
    For it desires in endless bliss to dwell.
    Sir J. Davies.

            Urge them, while their souls
    Are capable of this ambition;
    Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
    Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
    Cool and congeal again to what it was.
    Shakesp. K. John.

  3. It is used with to before a verb, and of before a noun.

    I had a very early ambition to recommend my self to your Lordship's patronage. Addison.

    There was an ambition of wit, and an affectation of gayety. Pope's Preface to his Letters.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Davies, John (45) · Shakespeare's King John (43) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Sidney, Philip (140)

Attributes: Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

Search for this word in: American Heritage · Cambridge · Dictionary.com · The Free Dictionary · Longman · Merriam-Webster · OneLook · Oxford Dictionaries · Vocabulary.com · Wiktionary · Wordnik

Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Ambition." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 31, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/ambition/.

johnsonsdictionaryonline.com is completely free to use. Johnson's dictionary is in the public domain, but please respect the hours of work put into this site by linking to it or crediting it. This site assumes no liability for its content or for the content of external sites linked to it, and has no warranty or guarantee concerning accuracy or availability.