View synonyms for behave


[ bih-heyv ]

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.

    Synonyms: perform

  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.


/ bɪˈheɪv /


  1. intr 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

“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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Other Words From

  • unbe·having adjective
  • well-be·haved adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of behave1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English behaven “to behave oneself”; equivalent to be- + have
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Word History and Origins

Origin of behave1

C15: see be- , have
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Example Sentences

For instance, it might nudge your brain to think or behave in certain ways.

Technology that can change your brain — nudge it to think or behave in certain ways — is especially worrisome to many of our readers.

One public health official said, “If the country had behaved like the state of Vermont, we would have 200,000 fewer deaths.”

From Vox

With Maria’s help, he finds they need to learn to act like kids rather than learn how to behave as grown ups.

From there, it gathers insights around how those audiences behave and buys ads against them to see how well they perform.

From Digiday

Now, a new observation seems to show that black holes also behave according to their place in the cosmic web.

And given how they behave at moments like this, you can see why that is.

These roles include the whole moral structure of society—how you are to behave; what kind of clothing you are to wear.

So, if his father was like that, and Cumming shares his voracious sexual appetite, how does he behave differently?

No one has to know you have a bunch of dough, and you can behave any way you want.

Do not take a child with you to pay calls, until it is old enough to behave quietly and with propriety.

But Jake shook her up, and told her to behave, as it was a 'Piscopal funeral and not a pra'r meetin'.

She would never tell, no, not even Tessa; but how could she behave towards him as if she did not know?

This time I had my ankus with me, so that in case he should run away again I could prick his neck and make him behave.

The wise man, when the waves smile, ought to know how to behave; in the breakers he must go slow.


Related Words




hard put, bebehavior