- 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 for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for behave
Now, a new observation seems to show that black holes also behave according to their place in the cosmic web.The Black Hole Tango
Matthew R. Francis
November 24, 2014
And given how they behave at moments like this, you can see why that is.Will 5 Million Undocumented Immigrants Take Obama's Tough Love Immigration Deal?
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
November 21, 2014
These roles include the whole moral structure of society—how you are to behave; what kind of clothing you are to wear.Joseph Campbell on the Roots of Halloween
October 31, 2014
So, if his father was like that, and Cumming shares his voracious sexual appetite, how does he behave differently?Alan Cumming: The Truth About My Father
October 14, 2014
No one has to know you have a bunch of dough, and you can behave any way you want.Bill Murray’s Words of Wisdom: On Comedy, the Greatness of In-N-Out, and Searching For Great Love
October 10, 2014
Otherwise I may behave in a manner to be regretted in my calmer moments.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"He's no business to behave as if it was Papa's fault," said Harriett.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Why should any one be taught to behave like a gentleman, so long as he is no gentleman?
Yes; but one who could behave like that would be only too likely to give other grounds of offence.
Suffer me, then, briefly to give you a few hints as to how an audience should behave.
- (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 behave
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.