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

When determining risk, scientists look at measures like frequency of exposure and how the chemical behaves in the human body. Jenny Splitter, SELF, "How Worried Do You Need to Be About Those Cancer Warnings for Your Coffee?," 13 June 2018 Once known for being a reckless program, Shannon’s players behaved themselves off the field and the graduation rate was among the best in program history during his tenure. Chris Hays, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Randy Shannon gives UCF an edge among South Florida recruits," 12 June 2018 The Razer Game Store behaves similarly to the Humble Store. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "The Razer Game Store is a Steam alternative that gives you free games and PC hardware," 5 Apr. 2018 Brian Crawford, a former fire chief who now is the city administrator in Shreveport, La., has a master’s degree in industrial psychology and has studied how firefighters think and behave. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Fire departments fight a culture that saves — and costs — lives," 13 July 2018 Family dogs are also welcome at the farmers market, so long as they are well behaved and on a leash. Joan Hunt, Courant Community, "Wethersfield Farmers Market In Full Swing," 12 June 2018 What followed was a listicle of Carey’s erratic milestones—her cartoonish MTV Cribs episode, her feigned ignorance of her celebrity rivals, and her hospitalization after behaving oddly on TRL. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "When a 'Diva' Is Diagnosed," 11 Apr. 2018 One young man started angrily swearing and others scolded him to behave. Joshua Partlow, chicagotribune.com, "Inside the church where Nicaraguan paramilitaries laid siege on university students," 14 July 2018 In general, England supporters at the tournament have been well-behaved. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "England fans damage ambulance, set record for emergency calls," 8 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

9 Sep 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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