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

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Other Words from behavioral

behaviorally \ bi-​ˈhā-​vyə-​rə-​lē How to pronounce behavioral (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 In July, Salt Lake City resident Sasha Sloan jumped on the video-sharing platform TikTok, to tell the story of an elementary school student who was having behavioral problems. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Sep. 2021 The calculation does not include indirect costs related to lower intelligence, learning disabilities or behavioral problems, which also occur at higher rates among children who are born months prematurely. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2021 At Oscar, Ritter helped open an in-person primary care and behavioral health clinic known as the Oscar Center. Katie Jennings, Forbes, 31 Aug. 2021 Pediatric telemental health company Brightline hired Peter Antall, the former CMO of Amwell, as its CMO, and Renee Schneider, the former VP of clinical quality for behavioral health startup Lyra Health, as VP and head of therapy. Stat Staff, STAT, 26 Aug. 2021 The overall goal was to create an effective alternative to the hospital emergency department and/or inpatient admissions to better serve county residents in the midst of a behavioral health (mental health/substance use) crisis. Aegis Staff,, 18 Aug. 2021 San Francisco is going beyond the state definition of disabilities to cover developmental, medical, physical, sensory or behavioral health disabilities, including severe mental health or substance use disorders. Chronicle Staff, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Mar. 2021 The city is going beyond the state's eligibility rules to cover developmental, medical, physical, sensory or behavioral health disabilities, including severe mental health or substance use disorders, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2021 In the late 19th century, psychologists latched on to the term to refer to something that evokes a sensory or behavioral response. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of behavioral

1919, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for behavioral

Time Traveler

The first known use of behavioral was in 1919

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Dictionary Entries Near behavioral



behavioral ecology

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Statistics for behavioral

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Behavioral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on behavioral

Nglish: Translation of behavioral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behavioral for Arabic Speakers


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