be·​hav·​ior·​ist | \ bi-ˈhā-vyə-rist How to pronounce behaviorist (audio) , bē- \

Definition of behaviorist

1 : a person who advocates or practices behaviorism
2 : a person who specializes in the study of behavior an animal behaviorist

Other Words from behaviorist

behaviorist adjective

Examples of behaviorist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web French is an international veteran people leader and organizational behaviorist with over 10 years of experience as a chief people officer. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Feline behaviorist Stephen Quandt will talk about cat behavior in a virtual lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25. Michelle Mullins,, 22 Jan. 2022 The song, created with assistance from the company's head vet Sean McCormack and dog behaviorist Carolyn Menteith, is based on sounds and noises that dogs enjoy, like squeaky toys, bells, and basic commands. Nicholas Rice,, 16 Dec. 2021 An attraction to pain can be bewildering, but the insights of the renowned behaviorist B. F. Skinner provide some useful context. The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 According to animal behaviorist Vicky Halls, cats have real, complex emotions including fear and anxiety that motivate much of their behavior. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2021 Although the precise cause of separation anxiety in animals remains unknown, some animals are anxious by nature, according to Valarie Tynes, a veterinary behaviorist in Sweetwater, Texas. Julianna Morano, Dallas News, 29 June 2021 Karis Nafte has been an animal behaviorist for nearly 26 years. Leanne Italie, ajc, 21 June 2021 The famous colony was studied by biologist Stephen Glickman and behaviorist Laurence Frank. Nienke Onneweer, The Arizona Republic, 26 Mar. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of behaviorist

1913, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About behaviorist

Time Traveler for behaviorist

Time Traveler

The first known use of behaviorist was in 1913

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near behaviorist




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for behaviorist

Last Updated

28 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Behaviorist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for behaviorist


variants: or chiefly British behaviourist \ -​rəst How to pronounce behaviorist (audio) \

Medical Definition of behaviorist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who advocates or practices behaviorism
2 : a person who specializes in the study of behavior Animal behaviorists are often consulted regarding such problems as aggression, self-mutilation, food aversion and inappropriate urination or defecation.— Tom Ewing, Dog Watch



Medical Definition of behaviorist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to behaviorism behaviorist psychology

More from Merriam-Webster on behaviorist

Britannica English: Translation of behaviorist for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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