would-be

adjective
\ ˈwu̇d-ˈbē How to pronounce would-be (audio) \

Definition of would-be

disparaging
: desiring, intending, professing, or having the potential to be a would-be actor

First Known Use of would-be

1647, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About would-be

Time Traveler for would-be

Time Traveler

The first known use of would-be was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near would-be

would appreciate it

would-be

wouldest

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for would-be

Cite this Entry

“Would-be.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/would-be. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for would-be

would-be

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of would-be

used to describe someone who hopes to be a particular person or type of person

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!