would-bePronunciation: (wood'bē"), [key]
wishing or pretending to be: a would-be wit.
intended to be: a would-be kindness.
a person who wishes or pretends to be something: Opera singers and would-bes should practice at least four hours a day.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.