be·​hav·​ior·​al | \ bi-ˈhā-vyə-rəl How to pronounce behavioral (audio) , bē- \

Definition of behavioral

1 : of or relating to behavior : pertaining to reactions made in response to social stimuli behavioral problems behavioral similarities Half of all potential guide dogs don't get final clearance because of medical or behavioral issues.— Cassie Kreitner
2 : relating to or concerned with the social, psychological, and emotional factors that affect financial decisions and behavior behavioral economics Behavioral finance … holds that financial man—far from the perfect, mechanical trader depicted in textbooks—is a rather neurotic fellow. He follows the crowd, fails to plan ahead and often makes mistakes.— Roger Lowenstein

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from behavioral

behaviorally \ bi-​ˈhā-​vyə-​rə-​lē How to pronounce behaviorally (audio) , bē-​ \ adverb
… gradually came to the conclusion that the wild dogs are physically and behaviorally distinct enough to constitute a uniform breed. — Christine Mlot

Examples of behavioral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Community First also aims to reduce the over-disciplining students, particularly Black boys, due to behavioral issues. Rebecca Lurye,, "New, independent school in Hartford’s North End opens amid pandemic with 11 students and lots of outdoor excursions," 23 Sep. 2020 Her class is also experiencing some behavioral issues after such a long break. NBC news, "A day in the life of a teacher," 22 Sep. 2020 As for the behavioral issues, consider learning more about supporting children and grandchildren with autism from resources such as the Autism Speaks website: Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Wife left to bear family grief, responsibilities, alone," 16 Sep. 2020 As for the behavioral issues, consider learning more about supporting children and grandchildren with autism from resources such as the Autism Speaks website: cleveland, "Dear Annie: I’m upset with my husband for not helping me with family issues," 15 Sep. 2020 Katie Corbett, who works at the shelter told local news station 13 WMAZ that Brownie has developed some behavioral issues after living at the shelter for so long. Claudia Harmata,, "Shelter Throws Rescue Dog a Big 2nd Birthday Bash to Help Him Feel Special and Get Adopted," 3 Sep. 2020 Thus far, the NBA has avoided any virtual fan behavioral issues—in comparison, the WWE had a fan appear to promote the Ku Klux Klan during a recent live match—and the staffers were diligent moderators. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "I Was a Floating Head at an NBA Game. It Gets Weirder," 31 Aug. 2020 Marcia Lowry, executive director of A Better Childhood, said the problem is many states don’t develop in-state placements for children with serious behavioral issues, especially those in foster care. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Inside Utah’s troubled teen industry: How it started, why kids are sent here and what happens to them," 30 Aug. 2020 ACEs can deeply affect a child’s brain development and can alter their DNA and hormonal and immune systems, causing behavioral issues, learning difficulties and chronic disease, Burke Harris said. Tatiana Sánchez,, "Does racism make us sick? Amid a national reckoning, the question gains new importance," 24 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behavioral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of behavioral

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about behavioral

Time Traveler for behavioral

Time Traveler

The first known use of behavioral was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Statistics for behavioral

Last Updated

27 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Behavioral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on behavioral

Nglish: Translation of behavioral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behavioral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on behavioral

What made you want to look up behavioral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!