behave

verb
be·​have | \bi-ˈhāv, bē-\
behaved; behaving

Definition of behave 

transitive verb

1 : to manage the actions of (oneself) in a particular way

2 : to conduct (oneself) in a proper manner getting children to behave themselves

intransitive verb

1 : to act, function, or react in a particular way He behaves like a child. testing how various metals behave under heat and pressure

2 : to conduct oneself properly Please behave.

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Other Words from behave

behaver noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of behave in a Sentence

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

Real-time ray tracing mimics how light behaves in the real world by mapping out rays that originate from 3D illumination sources in a scene. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "RTX on! Battlefield V becomes the first game to support DXR real-time ray tracing," 14 Nov. 2018 Humble, soft-spoken bosses can behave like tyrants behind the scenes. Sam Walker, WSJ, "Goodbye Swaggering CEOs; Hello Mr. Rogers," 3 Nov. 2018 Water does behave differently in low-gravity environments. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How NASA is learning to grow plants in space and on other worlds," 21 Sep. 2018 If this is how Luke behaves after sitting in the Paradise for roughly five minutes, imagine what's next. refinery29.com, "What That Disappointing Luke Cage Ending Means For The Future," 27 June 2018 To report a seabird or other marine animal found dead or behaving strangely, contact Gay Sheffield at 907-434-1149 or Brandon Ahmasuk at Kawerak at 907-443-4265. Author: Zoe Grueskin, Anchorage Daily News, "Seabirds again washing ashore dead in Western Alaska," 26 June 2018 Just like a photon of light behaves like both a particle and a wave, this blob also has wavelike properties, where one part can actually interfere with another part, to produce ripples in itself like waves colliding in a pond. Sophia Chen, WIRED, "The Quest to Make Super Cold Quantum Blobs in Space," 25 June 2018 Additionally, under the new rules, travelers flying Delta with emotional support animals now have to sign a voucher before boarding the plane that states their pets can and will behave on the flight. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Delta Airlines Bans Pit Bull-Type Service and Emotional Support Dogs from All Flights," 22 June 2018 Why are some mammals so well behaved as members of a society, whereas others cause so much trouble? Tim Vernimmen, Scientific American, "Babysitting Mammals Keep It in the Family," 20 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behave

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for behave

Middle English behaven, from be- be- + haven "to have entry 1, hold"

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Statistics for behave

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for behave

The first known use of behave was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for behave

behave

verb

English Language Learners Definition of behave

: 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

behave

verb
be·​have | \bi-ˈhāv \
behaved; behaving

Kids Definition of behave

1 : to act in a particular manner The children behaved well at the party.

2 : to act in a proper or acceptable way Tell them to behave.

3 : to act or function in a particular way We're studying how metals behave under pressure.

behave

verb
be·​have | \bi-ˈhāv \
behaved; behaving

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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Comments on behave

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