[won-uh-bee, waw-nuh]
noun, plural wannabes. Informal.
one who aspires, often vainly, to emulate another's success or attain eminence in some area.

1980–85; derivative of (I) wanna be…

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World English Dictionary
wannabe or wannabee (ˈwɒnəˌbiː)
 a.  a person who desires to be, or be like, someone or something else: a group of Marilyn Monroe wannabes
 b.  (as modifier): a wannabe film star
[C20: phonetic shortening of want to be]
wannabee or wannabee
[C20: phonetic shortening of want to be]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1981, originally Amer.Eng. surfer slang, from casual pronunciation of want to be; popularized c.1984 in reference to female fans of pop singer Madonna.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

wannabe definition

[ˈwɑnə bi]
and wanna be
  1. n.
    someone who wants to be something or someone. (Associated with Madonna, the singer.) : All these teenyboppers are wannabes, and that's why we can sell this stuff to them at any price.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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