be·hav·ior·al | \bi-ˈhā-vyə-rəl, 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, 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

Uber didn’t single-handedly enable the behavioral change that allowed its technology to take off. Eric Ellis, Fortune, "2 Things That Need to Happen for Driverless Cars to Go Mainstream," 28 June 2018 Some had recently exhibited major behavioral changes, but for others, the changes were more minor. Randy Rieland, Smithsonian, "Can Artificial Intelligence Help Stop School Shootings?," 22 June 2018 The foundation’s website says the aim is to use the outdoors to inspire participants to see opportunities in their lives and seek possibilities by creating positive behavioral changes. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Nonprofit links veterans to youths who lost military parent," 21 June 2018 There was little behavioral change when the dogs were shown disgusted or sad faces. Scott Berson, miamiherald, "Dogs can read your face - and behave differently when you're upset, scientists say," 21 June 2018 The records also described behavioral changes that troubled Donaldson's on-again, off-again girlfriend The Associated Press contributed to this report. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Florida serial killings suspect watched porn after three slayings, police records reveal," 12 June 2018 The records describe Donaldson as having behavioral changes that troubled his on-again, off-again girlfriend, even as his parents stood by him. CBS News, "Report: Suspected Tampa serial killer viewed porn after each slaying," 11 June 2018 Refugee Illuminated is working on deploying solar lanterns and on creating behavioral change campaigns to promote fire safety in refugee camps in Thailand. Lisa Deaderick,, "USD professor shows his students how to be both successful and caring," 26 May 2018 Much of the early discussion has centered around improving school security and boosting the ranks of school counselors to identify and help students dealing with mental and emotional challenges or who exhibit behavioral changes. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "Securing schools against gun violence could be costly," 23 May 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

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The first known use of behavioral was in 1919

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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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