: that is to be : future
usually used postpositively and often in combination
a bride-to-be

Examples of to-be in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Emotional parents took proud photos on their cellphones before sending the children off, teachers corralled their students into lesson plans, and shy kids met their soon- to-be best friends. Heidi Levine, Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2023 Flo Milli’s edit is the first in the collab, but more to-be-revealed artists will curate their own in the coming months. Erica Gonzales, ELLE, 8 Apr. 2023 The Nets will be up against a soon-to-be two-time scoring champion. Tim Reynolds, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Apr. 2023 But Jerry Hall, his soon-to-be fourth ex-wife and no fan of Fox or its conservative hosts, was insisting that Murdoch, approaching his 90th birthday, remain cautious. Jim Rutenberg, New York Times, 6 Apr. 2023 Leaf first envisioned the face of his wife-to-be in a dream. Diane Bell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Apr. 2023 While many people go to church and find solace, absolution or inner peace – Pratt went to church and found his wife-to-be. Christian Edwards, CNN, 5 Apr. 2023 Access to maternal care is already limited for mothers and mothers-to-be in rural areas. Cara Tabachnick, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2023 All-Stars at Jeffersonville High School and June 7 against the Indiana All-Stars at a still-to-be-determined location. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 31 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'to-be.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1594, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of to-be was in 1594

Dictionary Entries Near to-be

Cite this Entry

“To-be.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/to-be. Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: that is to be : future
often used in combination
a bride-to-be
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