mis·​be·​hav·​ior ˌmis-bi-ˈhā-vyər How to pronounce misbehavior (audio)
plural misbehaviors
: bad, improper, or rude behavior : ill conduct
scolded the children for their misbehavior
US military law : any conduct by a member of the armed forces before or in the presence of the enemy that does not conform to military standards or practice for such a situation
… is charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, the latter of which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.The Boston Herald

Examples of misbehavior in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For students with disabilities, broad and subjective categories of misbehavior justify removing students from school hundreds of thousands of times a year, a sign their federal protection is failing. Sarah Butrymowicz, USA TODAY, 3 Apr. 2024 Japan’s entertainment industry has long been known for looking away from or covering up incidents of misbehavior. Patrick Frater, Variety, 28 Mar. 2024 The notice cited a preliminary ruling by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which recently got a new chief, Wu Qing, an industry veteran with a reputation for being tough on market misbehavior. Elaine Kurtenbach, Quartz, 19 Mar. 2024 Under the bill, each district’s policy would need to include certain elements, including: Student and parental behavior standards and a discipline structure of increasing consequences for bus misbehavior. Rebecca Grapevine, The Courier-Journal, 1 Mar. 2024 To do so, officials are spelling out how a series of measures will mean harsh consequences for misbehavior — and discomfort even for those who simply want to have a good time. Aaron Leibowitz, Miami Herald, 15 Feb. 2024 Betsy Barros, a lower court judge filling in on the Court of Appeals because of recusals, appeared alarmed by Burke’s ruling allowing prosecutors to confront Weinstein about unrelated misbehavior. Michael R. Sisak, Fortune, 15 Feb. 2024 His misbehavior is lightly psychologized but not justified; the show portrays him at his most charming and socially savvy and observant and kind — but also as intentionally manipulative and cruel. Lili Loofbourow, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2024 It’s situated at the juncture where freedom is just about to give way to misbehavior. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, 24 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misbehavior.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of misbehavior was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near misbehavior

Cite this Entry

“Misbehavior.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misbehavior. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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