- to act in a particular way; conduct or comport oneself or itself: The ship behaves well.
- to act properly: Did the child behave?
- to act or react under given circumstances: This plastic behaves strangely under extreme heat or cold.
- to conduct or comport (oneself) in a proper manner: Sit quietly and behave yourself.
Origin of behave
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for well-behaved
On the other hand, there is, in fact, a glut of perfectly healthy and well-behaved dogs and cats that need homes.Pope Francis Is Wrong About My Child-Free Life
June 6, 2014
Their challenge is to find purpose and a voice, beyond being the well-behaved baubles expected of them.
It seems to have started with Kathryn Skaggs who, according to the title of her blog, is “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman.”Is ‘Frozen’ The Gayest Movie of the Year?
March 12, 2014
If you decide to take as allies only well-behaved liberal democracies, you will not get very much done in the world.The Pakistan Distraction
Stephen L. Carter
September 23, 2011
With Jake's well-behaved Texas background, it seemed like he and Tenley were the perfect match.Reality Stars Who Overstayed Their Welcome
The Daily Beast Video
November 22, 2010
Although hardly sober, this woman was modest and well-behaved.The Sexual Question
She's a bright child, and a well-behaved one, generally speaking.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
I have always regarded you as an orderly and well-behaved boy.Breaking Away
He is an intelligent and well-behaved man, and has a fair Burmese education.
And I am going to let my hair grow long and be well-behaved.A Little Maid of Old Maine
Alice Turner Curtis
- conducting oneself in a satisfactory manner
- (intr) to act or function in a specified or usual way
- to conduct (oneself) in a specified wayhe behaved badly towards her
- to conduct (oneself) properly or as desiredthe child behaved himself all day
Word Origin and History for well-behaved
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.