What does behave mean?

Definitions for behave

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word behave.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. act, behave, doverb

    behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself

    "You should act like an adult"; "Don't behave like a fool"; "What makes her do this way?"; "The dog acts ferocious, but he is really afraid of people"

  2. behave, acquit, bear, deport, conduct, comport, carryverb

    behave in a certain manner

    "She carried herself well"; "he bore himself with dignity"; "They conducted themselves well during these difficult times"

  3. behave, comportverb

    behave well or properly

    "The children must learn to behave"


  1. behaveverb

    To conduct (oneself) well, or in a given way.

    You need to behave yourself, young lady.

  2. behaveverb

    To act, conduct oneself in a specific manner;

  3. behaveverb

    To conduct, manage, regulate (something).

  4. behaveverb

    To act in a polite or proper way.

    His mother threatened to spank him if he didn't behave.

  5. Etymology: From late behaven, equivalent to. Compare behabban, behaben.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Behaveverb

    Etymology: from be and have.

    We behaved not ourselves disorderly among you. 2 Thessal. iii. 7.

    Manifest signs came from heaven, unto those that behaved themselves manfully. 2 Macc. ii. 21.

    To their wills wedded, to their errours slaves,
    No man, like them, they think, himself behaves. John Denham.

    We so live, and so act, as if we were secure of the final issue and event of things, however we may behave ourselves. Francis Atterbury.

    But who his limbs with labours, and his mind
    Behaves with cares, cannot so easy miss. Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    With such sober and unnoted passion,
    He did behave his anger ere ’twas spent,
    As if he had but prov’d an argument. William Shakespeare, Timon.

  2. To Behaveverb

    To act; to conduct one’s self. It is taken either in a good or a bad sense; as, he behaved well or ill.


  1. Behave

    Behave is a song recorded by Swedish singer Benjamin Ingrosso. The song was released in Sweden on 1 October 2018 as the third single from Ingrosso's debut studio album, Identification. "Behave" peaked at number 8 on the Swedish Singles Chart.


  1. behave

    To behave refers to the way one acts or conducts oneself, particularly towards others. It can also refer to the response or actions taken by a thing or person under specific circumstances or in reaction to certain stimuli. The nature of this conduct or response can be influenced by certain rules, societal norms, or inherent characteristics.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Behaveverb

    to manage or govern in point of behavior; to discipline; to handle; to restrain

  2. Behaveverb

    to carry; to conduct; to comport; to manage; to bear; -- used reflexively

  3. Behaveverb

    to act; to conduct; to bear or carry one's self; as, to behave well or ill

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Behave

    be-hāv′, v.t. to bear or carry, to conduct (with self).—v.i. to conduct one's self, also to conduct one's self well: to act.—n. Behaviour (be-hāv′yür), conduct: manners or deportment, esp. good manners: general course of life: treatment of others.—To be upon one's behaviour, to be placed where one's best behaviour is politic or necessary. [Formed, according to Dr Murray, in 15th century from be- and Have; apparently unconnected with A.S. behabban.]

Editors Contribution

  1. behave

    To act a specific way

    They do behave in a respectful and responsible way

    Submitted by MaryC on February 11, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'behave' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4163

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'behave' in Verbs Frequency: #530

How to pronounce behave?

How to say behave in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of behave in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of behave in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of behave in a Sentence

  1. Susan Lerner:

    The public does not view this as business as usual, this jury is saying that self-dealing and back-scratching is not an acceptable way for a public servant to behave.

  2. Philip Hammond:

    Ukrainians can't beat the Russian army, that's not a practical proposition. There has to be a political solution, this man (Putin) has sent troops across an international border and occupied another country's territory in the 21st century acting like some mid-20th century tyrant. Civilized nations do not behave like that.

  3. Louis Nero:

    But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.

  4. Patricia Bullrich:

    If what happened is verified, I wouldnt even call them police officers, police officers who behave like thieves and killers will be treated like thieves and killers.

  5. Pamela Anderson:

    Jealous of his sons talent and beauty from the day they were born.He is sick. The definition of narcissist/sociopath - His fianc keeps him drunk - this is what he wants - someone to behave badly with, it’s terrible and unfortunately he has made this private matter very public. I have always tried only to set record straight. Trying to paint him as not a bad guy. Just one who is human and made mistakes - He still cannot handle the guilt about his abusive behavior and has never taken responsibility for what he has done.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for behave

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"behave." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/behave>.

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    an exhilarating psychological state of pride and optimism; an absence of depression
    A elation
    B crate
    C ditch
    D ternion

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