Definition of wannabe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwänəbē/
Pronunciation: /ˈwônəbē/


informal, derogatory
A person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people: a star-struck wannabe
More example sentences
  • These two requirements alone mean that many hopeful wannabes will not even get to first base.
  • More than 15,000 wannabes have been waiting in line through the night for their chance at stardom.
  • Each of the presidential wannabes is carving out their own signature issue.


Aspiring or wanting to be a specified type of person: a pair of wannabe pop stars wannabee millionaires
More example sentences
  • A chance encounter with a wannabe do-gooder enables him to open a village dispensary, which he starts to run with his wife.
  • Mars One says it will start considering applications from wannabe astronauts from all over the world from 2013.
  • One of the most frightening prospects facing any wannabe chef is the frenetic pace of the modern day professional kitchen.


1970s: representing a pronunciation of want to be.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: wan·na·be

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