Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

behave

[bih-heyv]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), be·haved, be·hav·ing.
  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), be·haved, be·hav·ing.
  1. to conduct or comport (oneself) in a proper manner: Sit quietly and behave yourself.

Origin of behave

1400–50; late Middle English behaven (reflexive). See be-, have
Related formsun·be·hav·ing, adjectivewell-be·haved, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. perform, acquit oneself, deport oneself.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-behaved

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for well-behaved

well-behaved

adjective (well behaved when postpositive)
  1. conducting oneself in a satisfactory manner

behave

verb
  1. (intr) to act or function in a specified or usual way
  2. to conduct (oneself) in a specified wayhe behaved badly towards her
  3. to conduct (oneself) properly or as desiredthe 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

Word Origin and History for well-behaved

adj.

1590s, from well (adv.) + past participle of behave.

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

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.