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behavior

[bih-heyv-yer]
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noun
  1. manner of behaving or acting.
  2. Psychology, Animal Behavior.
    1. observable activity in a human or animal.
    2. the aggregate of responses to internal and external stimuli.
    3. a stereotyped, species-specific activity, as a courtship dance or startle reflex.
  3. Often behaviors. a behavior pattern.
  4. the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances: the behavior of tin under heat.
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Also especially British, be·hav·iour.

Origin of behavior

1375–1425; behave + -ior (on model of havior, variant of havor < Middle French (h)avoirLatin habēre to have); replacing late Middle English behavoure, behaver. See behave, -or1
Related formsbe·hav·ior·al, adjectivebe·hav·ior·al·ly, adverbin·ter·be·hav·ior, nounin·ter·be·hav·ior·al, adjectivein·ter·be·hav·ior·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms

See more synonyms for behavior on Thesaurus.com
1. demeanor, manners; bearing, carriage.

Synonym study

1. Behavior, conduct, deportment, comportment refer to one's actions before or toward others, especially on a particular occasion. Behavior refers to actions usually measured by commonly accepted standards: His behavior at the party was childish. Conduct refers to actions viewed collectively, especially as measured by an ideal standard: Conduct is judged according to principles of ethics. Deportment is behavior related to a code or to an arbitrary standard: Deportment is guided by rules of etiquette. The teacher gave Susan a mark of B in deportment. Comportment is behavior as viewed from the standpoint of one's management of one's own actions: His comportment was marked by a quiet assurance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for behavior

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The behavior of the troops throughout this trying day was very good.

  • I asked, astonished at Jim's behavior, and anxious for some clew by which to solve its mystery.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • There was something droll, and yet miserable, in his behavior.

    Questionable Shapes

    William Dean Howells

  • To his way of thinking the behavior of the fiacre was quite unaccountable.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • I with a new, sudden interest, watched the behavior of the two men.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill


Word Origin and History for behavior

n.

late 15c., essentially from behave, but with ending from Middle English havour "possession," a word altered (by influence of have) from aver, noun use of Old French verb aveir "to have."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

behavior in Medicine

behavior

(bĭ-hāvyər)
n.
  1. The actions or reactions of persons or things in response to external or internal stimuli.
  2. The manner in which one behaves.
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Related formsbe•havior•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

behavior in Science

behavior

[bĭ-hāvyər]
  1. The actions displayed by an organism in response to its environment.
  2. One of these actions. Certain animal behaviors (such as nest building) result from instinct, while others (such as hunting) must be learned.
  3. The manner in which a physical system, such as a gas, subatomic particle, or ecosystem, acts or functions, especially under specified conditions.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with behavior

behavior

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.