behave

verb
be·​have | \ bi-ˈhāv How to pronounce behave (audio) , 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

Microsoft also tweaked some of the keyboard commands, and made changes to how the app behaves. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hints of Windows 10's 2019 future show up in early '19H1' builds," 6 Nov. 2018 Now there have been 340 cases recorded in the US, in 11 states—and the behavior of the bug in this country is teaching microbiologists more about how the new yeast behaves. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 Over a 35-year career, Wielgus has published surprising research about how these animals behave, especially once their paths cross with civilization. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 Here are three major causes for concern: How the new aero kits will behave is a total mystery. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar Texas preview: Why more mayhem could be on tap, and Will Power could win," 7 June 2018 America, through explicit policies bolstering corporate power and degrading worker power, has gradually altered how the economy behaves, such that even the good times aren’t that good for a majority of people. David Dayen, The New Republic, "How America Broke Its Economy," 8 May 2018 The concept shop was designed to figure out how shoppers behave in sprawling metropolises where living in distant enough neighborhoods is a justifiable reason to sever a relationship. Cam Wolf, GQ, "Nordstrom's New York Store Is Like Shopping Online—Only in Real Life," 12 Apr. 2018 That political appointees have behaved so apolitically is not a law but a norm taken for granted by both parties—until now. Greg Ip, WSJ, "It’s Up To the Senate Whether the Fed Is Politicized," 10 Apr. 2019 Your inclination might be to do the opposite, but resist behaving in that way. BostonGlobe.com, "We can’t afford to replace empathy with apathy," 10 July 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

20 May 2019

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 How to pronounce behave (audio) \
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 How to pronounce behave (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on behave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with behave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for behave

Spanish Central: Translation of behave

Nglish: Translation of behave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behave for Arabic Speakers

Comments on behave

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