behavior

[ bih-heyv-yer ]
/ bɪˈheɪv yər /

noun

manner of behaving or acting.
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.
Often behaviors. a behavior pattern.
the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances: the behavior of tin under heat.
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 forms

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for behavior

Medicine definitions for behavior

behavior

[ bĭ-hāvyər ]

n.

The actions or reactions of persons or things in response to external or internal stimuli.
The manner in which one behaves.

Related forms

be•havior•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for behavior

behavior

[ bĭ-hāvyər ]

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

Idioms and Phrases with behavior

behavior


see on one's best behavior.

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