con·​duct | \ kən-ˈdəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) also ˈkän-ˌdəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) \
conducted; conducting; conducts

Definition of conduct

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to direct or take part in the operation or management of conduct an experiment conduct a business conduct an investigation
b : to direct the performance of conduct an orchestra conduct an opera
c : to lead from a position of command conduct a siege conduct a class
2 : to cause (oneself) to act or behave in a particular and especially in a controlled manner conducted herself in a professional manner
3 : to bring by or as if by leading : guide conduct tourists through a museum
4a : to convey in a channel
b : to act as a medium for conveying or transmitting Metals conduct electricity well.

intransitive verb

1 of a road or passage : to show the way : lead
2a : to act as leader or director
b : to have the quality of transmitting light, heat, sound, or electricity


con·​duct | \ ˈkän-(ˌ)dəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) \

Definition of conduct (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a mode or standard of personal behavior especially as based on moral principles questionable conduct
2 : the act, manner, or process of carrying on : management praised for his conduct of the campaign
3 obsolete : escort, guide

Other Words from conduct


conductibility \ kən-​ˌdək-​tə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce conduct (audio) \ noun
conductible \ kən-​ˈdək-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce conduct (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for conduct


conduct, manage, control, direct mean to use one's powers to lead, guide, or dominate. conduct implies taking responsibility for the acts and achievements of a group. conducted negotiations manage implies direct handling and manipulating or maneuvering toward a desired result. manages a meat market control implies a regulating or restraining in order to keep within bounds or on a course. controlling his appetite direct implies constant guiding and regulating so as to achieve smooth operation. directs the store's day-to-day business

synonyms see in addition behave

Examples of conduct in a Sentence

Verb The police are conducting an investigation into last week's robbery. I like the way the company conducts business. The magazine conducted a survey. Who will be conducting the meeting? The committee is expected to conduct hearings in May. He conducts the choir with great skill and emotion. conducting the music of Mozart Our guide slowly conducted us through the museum. Our guide conducted us along the path. Noun A panel investigated her conduct and she was subsequently fired. the President was happy to leave the conduct of foreign affairs to his secretary of state See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb According to an announcement this week, buyers and sellers had the flexibility to conduct trades in fiat currencies like dollars and euros, as well as dozens of different crypto coins supported by the exchange. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 6 May 2022 Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin, allowed Russian troops to assemble and conduct military drills in the Eastern European country in the run-up to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 The county plans to conduct an actual count in 2023. oregonlive, 4 May 2022 LAS VEGAS - John Ramsey, the father of murdered JonBenet Ramsey, on Saturday launched a petition asking Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to allow an independent agency to conduct DNA testing in the case rather than the Boulder Police Department (BPD). Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 30 Apr. 2022 Applicants are required to either have MENA heritage or conduct business in the region. ELLE, 29 Apr. 2022 The parents expressed frustration over the district's failure to conduct a third-party review around the events of the shooting. Lily Altavena, Detroit Free Press, 19 Apr. 2022 The Jenner & Block report prompted the union to hire Cozen O’Connor to conduct a review of the NHLPA’s handling of in Beach’s case. Phil Thompson,, 15 Apr. 2022 The coroner’s office still has all the documents, evidence and photos from when Margaret Ann Sniegowski Jr. was found dead and will conduct a forensic review to see if new technology can determine her cause of death, Sparks said. Jake Allen, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the decades to follow, his company helped introduce a wildlife-safe driver-education curriculum and safari code of conduct in Kenya. Stephanie Vermillion, Outside Online, 3 May 2022 The American Medical Association outlines standards of conduct all physicians should follow. Adam Saltman, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Office employees are held to a high standard of conduct and the department has multiple accountability systems to address employee misconduct. oregonlive, 2 May 2022 The former four-star prospect left Maryland during his freshman year after being suspended indefinitely a few days before the season opener for an unspecified violation of the school’s student-athlete code of conduct. Ryan Mcfadden And C.j. Doon, Baltimore Sun, 28 Apr. 2022 Most of baseball’s unofficial code of conduct should be preserved, Belt said, for the sake of sportsmanship. New York Times, 24 Apr. 2022 The panel said that constituted misconduct in office and violated eight sections of the judicial canons of conduct. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 22 Apr. 2022 According to the district’s code of conduct, law enforcement typically don’t get involved in disciplinary issues unless a student harms someone or breaks the law, but the severity of other punishments are largely up to administrators to decide. al, 13 Apr. 2022 Both the manager and the firm failed to disclose the potential conflict of interest as required by BART’s employee and contractor codes of conduct, according to the report. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of conduct


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for conduct


Middle English conducten "to guide, direct," borrowed from Latin conductus, past participle of condūcere "to bring together, join, hire, be of advantage, be conducive (to)" (Medieval Latin also "to lead, escort, provide a channel for [water]") — more at conduce

Note: Middle English also used in the same senses conduiten, with variants conduten, conditen, based on Anglo-French conduit, past participle of cunduire, conduire, going back to Latin condūcere; these forms were carried into Tudor English, but they largely expired by the seventeenth century. Compare conduit. See also note at conduce.


Middle English conduct, conducte "act of escorting," borrowed from Medieval Latin conductus "leadership, escort, retinue, hire, water channel," going back to Late Latin, "contract," from Latin condūcere "to bring together, join, hire, accept a contract for" (Medieval Latin also "to lead, escort, provide a channel for [water]") + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at conduce

Note: The noun conduct has been influenced in sense by its verbal counterpart conduct. Already in the sixteenth century the noun was used to mean "leadership, management" and "capability in leadership or management, aptitude for command." The more general sense "behavior in a particular situation" appears in the seventeenth century. The sense development is largely paralleled by the history of French conduite, a nominal derivative from the feminine past participle of conduire "to guide, escort"; see also conduit and the note at conduce.

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The first known use of conduct was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conduct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for conduct


con·​duct | \ kən-ˈdəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) \
conducted; conducting

Kids Definition of conduct

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to plan and put into operation from a position of command : lead conduct a business
3 : behave sense 1 She conducted herself with courtesy.
4 : to direct the performance of (musicians or singers)
5 : to have the quality of transmitting light, heat, sound, or electricity


con·​duct | \ ˈkän-ˌdəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) \

Kids Definition of conduct (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : personal behavior
2 : the act or way of managing something the conduct of foreign trade

Choose the Right Synonym for conduct


conduct, direct, and manage mean to provide the leadership or guidance for something. conduct means leading something in person. I will conduct the meeting. direct is used for guiding something that needs constant attention. Our mayor directed the building of a new school. manage means the handling of the small items of something (as a business) or the careful guiding of something to a goal. He's managing the president's reelection campaign.


transitive verb
con·​duct | \ kən-ˈdəkt also ˈkän-ˌdəkt \

Medical Definition of conduct

: to act as a medium for conveying

intransitive verb

: to have the quality of transmitting something (as light, heat, sound, or electricity)


con·​duct | \ ˈkän-ˌdəkt How to pronounce conduct (audio) \

Legal Definition of conduct

1a : the act, manner, or process of carrying on or managing his conduct of the case was negligent
b : an act or omission to act a crime is that conduct which is defined as criminalLouisiana Revised Statutes
2 : mode or standard of personal behavior

More from Merriam-Webster on conduct

Nglish: Translation of conduct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conduct for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about conduct


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