A has-been is ❛someone who is no longer successful, famous or popular❜. For example:
Right now, he is a star; but how long will it take until he is a has-been?
At one time, she was a well-known actress who was in demand. Now, with no work and no money, she had to face the fact that she was a has-been.
Anyone who is ❛passé, past his prime and no longer in the spotlight❜ can be called a has-been. Some recent headlines which contain the English idiom has-been (also written as has been) are:
Robbie Williams: I’m obsessed with being a pop star and not a has-been
- metro.co.uk, 29 October 2012, Arwa Haider
Mr Has Been: Rowan Atkinson reveals he might kill of Mr Bean to avoid being seen as ❝sad❞
- mirror.co.uk, 18 November 2012, Patrick Hill
While people can be called has-beens, they can also be referred to as never-weres, i.e. people who never had a taste of success, fame or popularity. What English term could you use to describe ❛people who are aspiring to become successful or famous but, perhaps, don’t have the talent to make it possible❜?
The correct answer can be found here.