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

In the recording, the Easter bunny says hello to your child, asks what his or her name is, and then reminds them to keep behaving well. Madison Alcedo, Country Living, "Your Kids Can Use This Cute Smartphone App to Call the Easter Bunny," 11 Mar. 2019 Onlookers seemed to be impressed with how well-behaved the two young royals were. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Is Reportedly Organizing Swimming Races for Prince George and Princess Charlotte," 25 Feb. 2019 In August 2017, Florence's tourism chief, Anna Paola Concia, also launched the #EnjoyRespectFirenze campaign, telling travelers how to behave. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Florence Just Banned Snacking on Certain Streets," 4 Sep. 2018 But this time, the questions that resulted weren’t only how the war could have transpired differently; now there were new questions about how humans might have behaved in more morally appropriate ways in the past. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History," 14 June 2018 These are people from the '60s and '70s, when people behaved very differently. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Outlander Actor Richard Rankin Weighs in on Roger's Role in Tonight's Shocking Final Scene," 21 Jan. 2019 Arms: See if the person's arms behave the same way. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Luke Perry Dies at 52 After 'Massive' Stroke," 4 Mar. 2019 Unsurprisingly, these guests were just as badly behaved as their actor counterparts. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 25 Feb. 2019 The different components of the rings behave in different ways because of their mass, structural stability, and electric charge. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Rings Are Disappearing," 19 Dec. 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

8 Apr 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

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