Would-be definition

wo͝odbē
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.

adjective
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Desiring, attempting, or professing to be.
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Intended, but failing, to be.

A would-be work of art.

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Attempting or desiring something.

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

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Would-be film stars often become waitresses.

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One who aspires to something; a wannabe.
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Wishing or pretending to be.

A would-be expert.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
would-be
Plural:
would-bes

Origin of would-be