Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To conduct oneself in a specified way, especially in relation to others; exhibit behavior.
  • intransitive verb To conduct oneself in a proper way.
  • intransitive verb To act, react, function, or perform in a particular way.
  • intransitive verb To conduct (oneself) properly.
  • intransitive verb To conduct (oneself) in a specified way.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To govern; manage; conduct; regulate.
  • With a reflexive pronoun, to conduct, comport, acquit, or demean. In some specified way.
  • Absolutely, in a commendable or proper way; well or properly: as, behave yourself; they will not behave themselves.
  • To employ or occupy.
  • [The reflexive pronoun omitted.] To act in any relation; have or exhibit a mode of action or conduct: used of persons, and also of things having motion or operation.
  • In a particular manner, as specified: as, to behave well or ill; the ship behaves well.
  • Absolutely, in a proper manner: as, why do you not behave?

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To manage or govern in point of behavior; to discipline; to handle; to restrain.
  • transitive verb To carry; to conduct; to comport; to manage; to bear; -- used reflexively.
  • intransitive verb To act; to conduct; to bear or carry one's self.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb reflexive To conduct (oneself) well, or in a given way.
  • verb intransitive To act, conduct oneself in a specific manner; used with an adverbial of manner.
  • verb obsolete, transitive To conduct, manage, regulate (something).
  • verb intransitive To act in a polite or proper way.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb behave in a certain manner
  • verb behave well or properly
  • verb behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English behaven : be-, be- + haven, to have; see have.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From late Middle English behaven ("to restrain"), equivalent to be- +‎ have. Compare Old English behabban ("to include, hold, surround, comprehend, contain, detain, withhold, restrain"), Middle High German behaben ("to hold, take possession of").

Examples

  • Some nonsense about the free market regulating and fixing itself and if we just leave it alone credit card companies will magically learn how not to behave is a usurious manner?

    Sweeping bank reform bill clears House

  • His basic ignorance about the way people behave is astonishing – talking in utterly implausible ways to one another.

    Humor

  • His basic ignorance about the way people behave is astonishing – talking in utterly implausible ways to one another.

    Pop Culture

  • “How we behave is up to us, ” but Nikolai believes that everything is predetermined by one's particular circumstances (galley page 293).

    In the Kitchen by Monica Ali: Questions

  • His basic ignorance about the way people behave is astonishing – talking in utterly implausible ways to one another.

    Art and Literature

  • What they do and how they behave is irrelevant, when compared to the dues they believe are owed their innate sense of self-worth.

    On Jane Austen « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Probably the easiest thing to do when proprietary players like this won't behave, is to download the video using one of the many sites or tools available then reupload it to YouTube or Vimeo. com (who has a really nice player i might add) if the owner of the video will allow.

    Discourse.net: Friday McBush/McSame Bashing

  • Like it or not, the way a civilization decides to behave is as much a conscious decision as anything else.

    There Are No Superior Or Inferior Cultures « Unambiguously Ambidextrous

  • While they are certainly varied and extremely colorful and cute, they all behave is very similar way.

    MAMEmania: Ultra Toukon Densetsu » Fanboy.com

  • Global warming did not create these big pockets of water — they lie beneath some 2,300 feet of compressed snow and ice, too deep to be affected by temperature changes on the surface — but knowing how they behave is important to understanding the impact of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheet, study author Helen Fricker said by telephone.

    Space Lasers Detect Big Lakes Under Antarctica | Impact Lab

Comments

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  • be have : an impossibilty

    August 10, 2008