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

Just like Yellowstone’s wildlife and majestic scenery, tourists behaving badly have become a target for cameras. Mead Gruver, The Seattle Times, "Man who walked near boiling-hot Old Faithful geyser ticketed," 17 Sep. 2018 In society, there is a social structure of how genders should behave. Temi Adebowale, Seventeen, "'Drag Race' Queen Yuhua Hamasaki On Why Coming Out Isn't One-Size-Fits-All," 21 June 2018 Her story: As depicted by James Whitcomb Riley, Greenfield, Ind., youngster Annie told cautionary tales about what happens to children who don't behave. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "The end of ‘The Middle’ and 20 fictional characters who put Indiana on the map," 22 May 2018 Newsletter Sign-up J&J says thousands of tests conducted by the company, health regulators and outside labs found the talc used in the baby powder was asbestos-free, and the company behaved appropriately. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, "J&J Slammed by Concern Over Baby Powder Safety," 17 Dec. 2018 Officers received a report Wednesday of a Togiak man who was behaving oddly at the PenAir terminal in Dillingham. Author: Isabelle Ross, Anchorage Daily News, "Togiak man arrested after trying to climb into airplane cargo hold in Dillingham," 9 July 2018 But geophysicists and planetary scientists have long suspected that real oceans and atmospheres often behave like flat systems, making the intricacies of two-dimensional turbulence surprisingly relevant to real problems. Joshua Sokol, WIRED, "Flattened Fluids Help Scientists Understand Oceans and Atmospheres," 7 July 2018 Any alligator that doesn’t slip away, submerge or keep its distance from humans is not behaving normally. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Wildlife is wild, so admire from afar," 13 June 2018 Schizophrenia is a mental illness that distorts the way people think, feel, and behave, according to the NIMH. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "9 Things You Should Know About Taking Antipsychotic Drugs," 7 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

14 Jan 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 \
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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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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