[ 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.

Words nearby wannabe

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



/ (ˈwɒnəˌbiː) /


  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