What is a wannabe?

A person who wants to be someone they are not

A "wannabe" is a person who is trying hard to be someone they aren't talented or qualified enough to be (thus, they are stuck as a "want to be"). For example, you are a wannabe if you aspire to be a lead singer like Mick Jagger but don't have the voice, charisma, or style.

Wannabe is derogatory, meant to write off people similarly to the poser insult. People may use it in various contexts, including complaining about a boss' lack of skills to a co-worker or criticizing a friend's athletic dreams.

For example, you may message your co-worker, "Tom doesn't have the cutthroat mentality to be a CEO in our field. He's just a wannabe." Or, you might criticize your friend's attempt to become an MLB pitcher, "Jake is a wannabe pro pitcher. His fastball can't touch 85, and his curve has little movement."

Alternatively, people may use wannabe in messages when combining "wanna" and "be" to save space. For example, your friend might text you, "u wannabe in my wedding next summer?!?"


He's such a wannabe. He'll never be good enough
That's a bit mean
Just being real

The wannabe insult

Related Slang


Updated November 22, 2023

Wannabe definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the abbreviation "Wannabe" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!