The definition of would be is someone who is trying to become or acting like a specific kind of person that he is not.
An example of a would be artist is someone who is trying to get a gallery show and get people to buy his paintings.
- wishing or pretending to be: a would-be expert
- intended, but failing, to be: a would-be work of art
Origin of would-beMiddle English (northern) walde be
Desiring, attempting, or professing to be: “Would-be home buyers will have a somewhat easier time getting loans” (Wall Street Journal).
- One who aspires to something; a wannabe.