Definition of behavior
1a : the manner of conducting (see 2conduct 4) oneself criminal behavior normal adolescent behaviorb : anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulationc : the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment They are studying the behavior of elephants in the wild.
2 : the way in which someone conducts oneself or behaves (see behave 1) We were grateful for the gracious behavior of our hostess. The children were rewarded for good behavior. Be on your best behavior.; also : an instance of such behavior unacceptable social behaviors
3 : the way in which something functions or operates They tested the behavior of various metals under heat and pressure.
behavioralplay \-vyə-rəl\ adjective
behaviorallyplay \-rə-lē\ adverb
Examples of behavior in a Sentence
I'm surprised by her bad behavior toward her friends.
Students will be rewarded for good behavior.
scientists studying the behavior of elephants
An acceptable social behavior in one country may be unacceptable in another country.
Doctors are trying to educate people about behaviors that can put them at increased risk for skin cancer.
The experiment tested the behavior of various metals under heat and pressure.
Recent Examples of behavior from the Web
After Jones’ arrest, the team made the unusual move of publicly apologizing for his behavior, especially his vulgar comments to police officers in a cruiser.
And many were offended by their behavior, seeing the chaos on campus as a symbol that liberal politics so dominate college campuses that civil debates about ideas have become impossible.
On Wednesday, allegations of inappropriate behavior against him surfaced at Kent Denver, a private day school in Colorado, which means that Mr. Lyman now stands accused of misconduct with students at three of those schools, across three states.
Home loans vary by country and differences in borrowers’ repayment behavior justify a more nuanced approach, rather than imposing the same sets of capital charges on all banks’ mortgages, Cryan said Tuesday at an investor conference in New York.
A: Normally with wedding quandaries, behavior starts to get so extreme and polarized so as to create caricatures.
Forget the low lows of 2016, a year defined by political cynicism and brutish behavior, or even these first months of 2017, which have been swallowed by dramatic revelations and relentless Washington in-fighting.
Assistant Principal Gene Teel said the teen was one of 125 students who qualified for the trip through the school's privilege program which rewards students for grades, attendance and behavior.
Lisa Wade, an associate professor of sociology at Occidental College, argues bad behavior is a fundamental part of fraternity DNA.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behavior'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
BEHAVIOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of behavior for English Language Learners
: the way a person or animal acts or behaves
: the way something (such as a machine or substance) moves, functions, or reacts
BEHAVIOR Defined for Kids
Definition of behavior for Students
1 : the manner in which a person acts Students are rewarded for good behavior.
2 : the whole activity of something and especially a living being Scientists observed the elephant's behavior.
Medical Definition of behavior
1: the manner of conducting oneself
2a: anything that an organism does involving action and response to stimulationb: the response of an individual, group, or species to its environment
behavioralor chiefly British
behaviorallyor chiefly British
Seen and Heard
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