misbehave

verb mis·be·have \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv , -bē- \

Definition of misbehave

misbehaved; misbehaving
transitive + intransitive
1 a T : to conduct (oneself) badly or improperly
  • students who frequently misbehave themselves in class
b I : to behave with poor manners or a lack of courtesy
  • He worried about the decline of family discipline, about the fact that local youth went out walking after dark, wasted time in levity, misbehaved in church.
  • —Tracy Kidder
c I : to behave with disregard for accepted moral standards especially in sexual matters
  • known for misbehaving with numerous women
d I of a member of the armed forces : to behave before or in the presence of the enemy in a way that does not conform to military standards or practice
  • … has been charged with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy …
  • —Dan Lamothe
2 I : to behave in an unexpected or unwelcome way
  • After five floods in four years, people in Liberty County are used to seeing the Trinity River misbehave.
  • —Adam Nossiter

misbehaver

noun, plural misbehavers
    • misbehavers in the classroom

First Known Use of misbehave

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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MISBEHAVE Defined for Kids

misbehave

verb mis·be·have \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv \

Definition of misbehave for Students

misbehaved; misbehaving
: to behave badly


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