2. The object, state, goal, or result aspired or sought after: To be a professional baseball player has been Jim's life-time ambition.
3. A need or urge for an activity: Jerry and Jane have no ambition to go dancing this evening; so, they are staying home.
Even in ancient Rome candidates for public office went around soliciting votes. This activity was indicated by the word ambitio, "a going about, going around".
Ambitio was derived from ambire, "to go about", which in turn was formed from amb-, "about", and ire, "to go". Since this activity indicated a desire for honor or power, the word ambitio came to mean the desire for official honors.
This word was borrowed in French and English as ambition, and its meaning broadened to denote the earnest desire for achievement.