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 other words, Democrats on ActBlue behave like straightforward partisans—fans supporting their teams, and out to win. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, "Why Famous, Powerful Presidential Candidates Are Begging You for Five Dollars," 10 June 2019 Despite Storfer’s best efforts, sometimes the hackers behaved erratically. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, "The Trade Secret Firms That Promised High-Tech Ransomware Solutions Almost Always Just Pay the Hackers," 15 May 2019 Back in mid-90s suburban Westchester, New York, there were not so many ways for an essentially well-behaved, academically minded, socially timid twelve-year-old to be subversive. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "Meet the Set Designer Behind For Björk Latest Showstopping Performance," 10 May 2019 State law holds that deadly self-defense is an appropriate action if a reasonable person would behave similarly in similar circumstances. Uriel J. Garcia, azcentral, "Suspect, witnesses detail confrontation in Tempe firefighter's shooting death," 18 May 2018 Yeast is a fungus, but C. auris is behaving like a bacterium — in fact, like a bacterial superbug. Maryn Mckenna, WIRED, "The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast," 13 July 2018 In Englewood, Mr Johnson tells his 350 officers to attend community meetings, to build relationships and to avoid behaving like an occupying force. The Economist, "Violent crime is down in Chicago," 3 May 2018 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

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

17 Jun 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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