mis·​be·​have | \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv How to pronounce misbehave (audio) , -bē- \
misbehaved; misbehaving

Definition of misbehave

1a transitive : to conduct (oneself) badly or improperly students who frequently misbehave themselves in class
b intransitive : 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 intransitive : to behave with disregard for accepted moral standards especially in sexual matters known for misbehaving with numerous women
d intransitive, 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 intransitive : 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

Other Words from misbehave

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

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Cite this Entry

“Misbehave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misbehave. Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for misbehave


mis·​be·​have | \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv \
misbehaved; misbehaving

Kids Definition of misbehave

: to behave badly

More from Merriam-Webster on misbehave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misbehave

Nglish: Translation of misbehave for Spanish Speakers


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