Would-be Would"-be`, a. Desiring or professing to be; vainly pretending to be; as, a would-be poet. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • would-be — [wood′bē΄] adj. [ME (northern) walde be] 1. wishing or pretending to be [a would be expert] 2. intended, but failing, to be [a would be work of art] …   English World dictionary

  • would-be — would′ be adj. 1) wishing or pretending to be: a would be wit[/ex] 2) intended to be: a would be kindness[/ex] • Etymology: 1250–1300 …   From formal English to slang

  • would-be — would ,be adjective only before noun * hoping or trying to do something: The would be thieves smashed a glass panel in the front door. would be diplomats/lawyers/referees …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • would-be — adj would be actor/murderer etc someone who hopes to have a particular job or intends to do a particular thing …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • would-be — ► ADJECTIVE often derogatory ▪ desiring or aspiring to be a specified type of person …   English terms dictionary

  • would-be — index specious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • would-be — [adj] aspiring ambitious, budding, eager, enterprising, hopeful, keen, potential, promising, prospective, striving, wannabe*, wishful; concept 403 …   New thesaurus

  • would-be — ADJ: ADJ n You can use would be to describe someone who wants or attempts to do a particular thing. For example, a would be writer is someone who wants to be a writer. ...a book that provides encouragement for would be writers who cannot get… …   English dictionary

  • would-be — /wood bee /, adj. 1. wishing or pretending to be: a would be wit. 2. intended to be: a would be kindness. n. 3. a person who wishes or pretends to be something: Opera singers and would bes should practice at least four hours a day. [1250 1300; ME …   Universalium

  • would-be — /ˈwʊd bi / (say wood bee) adjective 1. wishing or pretending to be: a would be wit; *Australian practice of interviewing applicants, thus giving an opportunity to question a would be immigrant whose story seems dubious. –geoffrey blainey, 1984. 2 …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”