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 And, critically, how to persuade them to behave accordingly – to do without bars and cinemas and restaurants, for example, or to stop throwing and going to parties – not just for a few days or weeks, but until the pandemic was truly under control. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "In European COVID-19 seesaw, lessons in patience for America?," 18 Nov. 2020 These numbers are appalling but unlikely to improve as long as public teachers unions continue to behave like the nation’s most lucrative and powerful racketeering ring. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Teachers Unions and the Myth of ‘Public’ Schools," 29 Oct. 2020 The formula is given even more of an anti-aging boost with La Prairie’s Exclusive Cellular Complex, which can help the skin to renew and repair itself more efficiently, essentially enabling cells to behave more like those of younger skin. Megan Mcintyre, Marie Claire, "I Tried A Liquid "Face Lift" Serum and It's Transforming My Skin," 14 Oct. 2020 Here’s a mind-bender that Elon Musk might be tweeting about soon: Could the Internet reach a state of artificial consciousness and behave like a living creature? Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Democracy depends on Washington improving its tech," 17 Sep. 2020 Enter resonances, which behave somewhat like a child on a swing. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Jupiter’s Ocean Moons Raise One Another’s Tides," 8 Sep. 2020 Derechos are fueled by different factors and behave more like a stampede of wildebeests than a bloat of hippopotamuses. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Why Derechos Are So Devilishly Difficult to Predict," 14 Aug. 2020 Laureano said it’s an unwritten rule that coaches do not behave like that. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "Brawl fallout: A’s worry about losing Laureano, want Astros’ Alex Cintron disciplined," 10 Aug. 2020 In other groups, the topmost elements tend to behave more like the lowermost elements when scientists apply serious pressure in the lab, like carbon into diamonds. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Have Created Black Nitrogen," 4 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for behave

Time Traveler

The first known use of behave was in the 15th century

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Statistics for behave

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Behave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/behave. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for behave

behave

verb
How to pronounce behave (audio)

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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Comments on behave

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