verb be·have \bi-ˈhāv, bē-\

: to act in an acceptable way : to act properly

: to act in a particular way

of a thing : to function, react, or move in a particular way


Full Definition of BEHAVE

transitive verb
:  to manage the actions of (oneself) in a particular way
:  to conduct (oneself) in a proper manner
intransitive verb
:  to act, function, or react in a particular way
:  to conduct oneself properly
be·hav·er noun

Examples of BEHAVE

  1. If you can't behave in the store we'll have to leave.
  2. If you can't behave yourself in the store we'll have to leave.
  3. I wish those children would behave themselves.
  4. He behaves like a child!
  5. The experiment tested how various metals behave under heat and pressure.

Origin of BEHAVE

Middle English behaven, from be- + haven to have, hold
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of BEHAVE

behave, conduct, deport, comport, acquit mean to act or to cause oneself to do something in a certain way. behave may apply to the meeting of a standard of what is proper or decorous <the children behaved in church>. conduct implies action or behavior that shows the extent of one's power to control or direct oneself <conducted herself with unfailing good humor>. deport implies behaving so as to show how far one conforms to conventional rules of discipline or propriety <the hero deported himself in accord with the code of chivalry>. comport suggests conduct measured by what is expected or required of one in a certain class or position <comported themselves as gentlemen>. acquit applies to action under stress that deserves praise or meets expectations <acquitted herself well in her first assignment>.


verb be·have \bi-ˈhāv\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of BEHAVE

transitive verb
:  to bear or conduct (oneself) in a particular way
intransitive verb
:  to act, function, or react in a particular way


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