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[mis-bi-heyv] /ˌmɪs bɪˈheɪv/
verb (used without object), misbehaved, misbehaving.
to behave badly or improperly:
The children misbehaved during our visit.
verb (used with object), misbehaved, misbehaving.
to conduct (oneself) without regard for good manners or accepted moral standards:
Several of the guests misbehaved themselves.
Origin of misbehave
late Middle English
late Middle English word dating back to 1425-75; See origin at mis-1, behave
Related forms
misbehaver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for misbehave
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Granted that they wished to misbehave, it was pleasant for them to be able to do so.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
  • And if you try to hook it, or misbehave anyways, you get put in solitary.

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame Laura E. Richards
  • He urged me to do likewise, to misbehave, to sin with officers of the garrison.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • When their ichor is up, they misbehave as we do when our blood is up, during the fury of war.

    Homer and His Age Andrew Lang
  • On land it's bad enough for us to misbehave; but submarine sentiment!

    The Fighting Chance Robert W. Chambers
  • He discovered that when his mother or father was in the room she was terrified lest he should misbehave.

    Jeremy Hugh Walpole
  • But he was not drunk,—not as yet so drunk as to misbehave himself openly.

    Ayala's Angel

    Anthony Trollope
  • If you misbehave as you go through the country I shall be held to blame and I shall be to blame.

    Captain Sam

    George Cary Eggleston
British Dictionary definitions for misbehave


to behave (oneself) badly
Derived Forms
misbehaver, noun
misbehaviour (ˌmɪsbɪˈheɪvjə) noun
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 misbehave

"conduct oneself improperly," late 15c.; see mis- (1) + behave. Related: Misbehaved; misbehaving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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