Usually an ex-reality show star or marginally talented has-been actor/entertainer who hasn't grasped that their 15 minutes of fame expired at least 26 months ago. Often seen on game shows, Home Shopping Network, Dancing With The Stars, infomercials at 3:00am, VH-1, truTV, even worse reality shows, or Where Are They Now? blurbs on Facebook.

They aggressively pursue facetime on TV for interviews or insert themselves into Hollywood galas to which they have not been invited. Occasionally they will create personal drama, no matter how embarrassing, believing that no publicity is bad publicity.

Years ago these has-beens quietly went to Love Boat but now we can't get shed of them.
And now, drumroll for the latest z-list celebrity rollcall:

Kate Gosselin, (at least Jon finally has a real job), Octomom, Gary Busey, Shannon Doherty, Kevin Federline, Todd Bridges
by ratsypoo March 2, 2014
Get the Z-list celebrity mug.
a person who considers themselves to be a celebrity when they really aren't. they are the stereotypical "one hit wonder" or "nobody" and when referenced people say "who is that?". they usually have lost all of their money and are terribly desperate for attention. a typical z-lister will be on or will host a game show or reality show (such as dancing with the stars, flavor/rock of love type show, celebrity fit club, or a regular show uses "celebrity" twist to get ratings). they like to announce their presence in public places, and will usually call paparazzi with their location in hopes of getting mentioned on TV, internet, or a magazine. the overly obnoxious z-lister will do annoying things and will be really loud in public. Even resorting to talking in the 3rd person to try and jog people's memory with the name. if a z-lister has a fan base, it consists of the most deperate middle-aged/menopausal women who had hopes of being the celebrity girlfriend/wife, but only have a chance with a Z-lister.
what is the list of z-list celebrities on this season's Dancing with the Stars?

Scott Baio is 46 and preganant??? Since when does that Z-list celebrity have a show?

VH1 hires all of the z-list celebrities.

Robert Loggia? Who is that? Is he some sort of z-list celebrity.

annoying things done in public would include
-when asked to spell name, they say each letter individually with an example (D as in don O as in OMG it's don N as in no way that's don)
-speaking loudly in 3rd person
-talking to people that they don't know and mentioning their second shot of fame, also very loudly
-posting news about themselves on a website
-calling paparazzi and paying them to sell his/her story
-making a scene in public to get attention (even if it's negative. attention is attention)
by Alx Nichole February 5, 2008
Get the Z-list celebrity mug.
1. An annoying ex-reality tv star that manged to get everywhere on TV

2. Someone who has only starred in one thing in thier misrable acting career and spend the remains of thier pay in beer then do drugs to get noticed or shag a famous person. Often sighted on Celebrity Big Brother because they couldn't pay thier rent and got thrown in for the money and expect fame.
1. 'Hello I'm Jade Goody (Z-list celebrity)from Big Brother 4 and I've made a new diet so give me money to pay for my one room flat'

2. (With drunken exspresion) 'I starred in Doctor who, I was the guy on the left, then I was a police officer in eastenders, do you remember?'
by Edlim August 13, 2006
Get the Z-list celebrity mug.
A Z-List celebrity is usually a childrens tv presenter, reality show contestant or X factor/Pop Idol contestant AFTER doing insert job here.
Dude 1, after switching to I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here: Oh My God. Who the hell is that Z-List Celebrity?! oh yeah....
by Holy Moly November 22, 2006
Get the Z-list celebrity mug.