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Definition of "would-be" []

  • Desiring, attempting, or professing to be: "Would-be home buyers will have a somewhat easier time getting loans” ( Wall Street Journal). (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "would-be" in a sentence
  • "He granted interviews to all the television stations in town and called his would-be assassins maggots."
  • "The aging inventor took out newspaper advertisements, calling his would-be rival out."
  • "Why, then, did the culture of American renegades get so little praise from the would-be evangelists of democracy?"