misbehave

verb, transitive + intransitive mis·be·have \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv , -bē- \
Updated on: 28 Feb 2018

Definition of misbehave

misbehaved; misbehaving
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


MISBEHAVE Defined for Kids

misbehave

verb mis·be·have \ ˌmis-bi-ˈhāv \

Definition of misbehave for Students

misbehaved; misbehaving
: to behave badly


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up misbehave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

unwilling or reluctant

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks Quiz

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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