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behave

[bih-heyv] /bɪˈheɪv/
verb (used without object), behaved, behaving.
1.
to act in a particular way; conduct or comport oneself or itself:
The ship behaves well.
2.
to act properly:
Did the child behave?
3.
to act or react under given circumstances:
This plastic behaves strangely under extreme heat or cold.
verb (used with object), behaved, behaving.
4.
to conduct or comport (oneself) in a proper manner:
Sit quietly and behave yourself.
Origin of behave
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English behaven (reflexive). See be-, have
Related forms
unbehaving, adjective
well-behaved, adjective
Synonyms
1. perform, acquit oneself, deport oneself.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for behave
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Otherwise I may behave in a manner to be regretted in my calmer moments.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • "He's no business to behave as if it was Papa's fault," said Harriett.

  • Why should any one be taught to behave like a gentleman, so long as he is no gentleman?

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Yes; but one who could behave like that would be only too likely to give other grounds of offence.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Suffer me, then, briefly to give you a few hints as to how an audience should behave.

British Dictionary definitions for behave

behave

/bɪˈheɪv/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to act or function in a specified or usual way
2.
to conduct (oneself) in a specified way: he behaved badly towards her
3.
to conduct (oneself) properly or as desired: the child behaved himself all day
Word Origin
C15: see be-, have
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for behave
v.

early 15c., from be- intensive prefix + have in sense of "to have or bear (oneself) in a particular way, comport" (cf. German sich behaben, French se porter). Cognate Old English compound behabban meant "to contain," and alternatively the modern sense of behave might have evolved from behabban via a notion of "self-restraint." Related: Behaved; behaving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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14
15
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