Definition of wannabe
1 : a person who wants or aspires to be someone or something else or who tries to look or act like someone else
2 : something (such as a company, city, or product) intended to rival another of its kind that has been successful; especially : one for which hopes have failed or are likely to fail
Examples of wannabe in a Sentence
an entrepreneur who seems to have made his fortune mainly by giving how-to-get-rich lectures to entrepreneurial wannabes
Recent Examples of wannabe from the Web
War for the Planet of the Apes is hardly all joy and light: Harrelson's loose-cannon Colonel is a sadist and wannabe dictator, and the movie contains some harrowing scenes of ape suffering.
Or is that just the grandiose thinking of a wannabe-savior?
Supporting this core trio are Fred Savage as Ethan's literary agent Max, Nat Faxon as trust-fund party guy Nick, and Jae Suh Park as wannabe actress Marianne.
Does a documentary that takes a seemingly uncritical, almost reality-TV-style look at a small-town wannabe skinhead like the 36-year-old Daliborek amount to giving him a platform for his admittedly confused or at least not very consistent ideas?
Buccaneers and pirate-wannabes of all ages abound, since pirate attire is encouraged and usually available from event vendors.
For more than four decades, the western-themed attraction has hired thousands of wannabe-cowboys and cowgirls, both young and old learning decades-old skills, to the excitement of the family that has long owned it.
Ruth (Brie) is a serious wannabe-actress with a mousy shag haircut, who laments the lack of meaty roles for women in Hollywood and arrives to class in a schlubby sweatshirt.
War for the Planet of the Apes is hardly all joy and light: Harrelson’s loose-cannon Colonel is a sadist and a dictator wannabe, and the movie contains some harrowing scenes of ape suffering.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wannabe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of wannabe
from the phrase want to be
First Known Use: 1981See Words from the same year
WANNABE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of wannabe for English Language Learners
: a person who tries to look or act like someone else (such as a famous person) : a person who wants to be a particular person or type of person
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