Definitions for would-be

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word would-be

Random House Webster's College Dictionary


  1. wishing or pretending to be:

    a would-be wit.

  2. intended to be:

    a would-be kindness.

Origin of would-be:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. manque, would-be(a)(adj)

    unfulfilled or frustrated in realizing an ambition


  1. would-be(Adjective)

    attempting or desiring something

    Would-be marines have to get through a rigorous examination.

  2. would-be(Adjective)

    unfulfilled or frustrated in realizing an ambition

    Would-be film stars often become waitresses.

  3. Origin: From would + be.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Would-be(adj)

    desiring or professing to be; vainly pretending to be; as, a would-be poet

Translations for would-be

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


trying, hoping, or merely pretending, to be

a would-be poet.

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