Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for misbehaving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That youngster of mine has not been misbehaving herself, I hope?

    Sisters Three Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • He knew, as well as did Mr. Waddle or Polly, that he was misbehaving himself.

    Ralph the Heir Anthony Trollope
  • It struck her now all of a sudden that she had been misbehaving.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • They do so, they will tell you, to prevent pussy from misbehaving in the house.

    Cats W. Gordon Stables
  • Yes; this bairn Anne, Mrs. Ross, as you see, has been misbehaving herself.

    Merkland Mrs. Oliphant
  • But I got to misbehaving, and got discharged from there before I was twenty-one.

British Dictionary definitions for misbehaving


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for misbehaving



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for misbehave

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for misbehaving

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for misbehaving