ambitious (adj.)

late 14c., ambicious, "craving, yearning, overambitious," from Latin ambitiosus "eager for public office, eager to win favor, ingratiating," from ambitio "a going around (to solicit votes)," noun of action from past-participle stem of ambire "to go around, go about," from amb- "around" (from PIE root *ambhi- "around") + ire "go" (from PIE root *ei- "to go"). The meaning "springing from ambition" is by 1751. Related: Ambitiously; ambitiousness.

Related entries & more