wannabe

[ won-uh-bee, waw-nuh‐ ]
/ ˈwɒn əˌbi, ˈwɔ nə‐ /

noun, plural wan·na·bes. Informal.

one who aspires, often vainly, to emulate another's success or attain eminence in some area.

Nearby words

  1. wanker,
  2. wankie,
  3. wanksta,
  4. wanky,
  5. wanna,
  6. wannabee,
  7. wanne-eickel,
  8. wannish,
  9. want,
  10. want ad

Origin of wannabe

1980–85; derivative of (I) wanna be…

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wannabe


British Dictionary definitions for wannabe

wannabe

wannabee

/ (ˈwɒnəˌbiː) /

noun

informal
  1. a person who desires to be, or be like, someone or something elsea group of Marilyn Monroe wannabes
  2. (as modifier)a wannabe film star

Word Origin for wannabe

C20: phonetic shortening of want to be

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for wannabe

wannabe

n.

1981, originally American English surfer slang, from casual pronunciation of want to be; popularized c.1984 in reference to female fans of pop singer Madonna.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper