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

  • n. The manner in which one behaves.
  • n. The actions or reactions of a person or animal in response to external or internal stimuli.
  • n. One of these actions or reactions: "a hormone . . . known to directly control sex-specific reproductive and parenting behaviors in a wide variety of vertebrates” ( Thomas Maugh II).
  • n. The manner in which something functions or operates: the faulty behavior of a computer program; the behavior of dying stars.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative form of behaviour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Manner of behaving, whether good or bad; mode of conducting one's self; conduct; deportment; carriage; -- used also of inanimate objects.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Manner of behaving, whether good or bad; conduct; mode of acting; manners; deportment: sometimes, when used absolutely, implying good breeding or proper deportment.
  • n. Figuratively, the manner in which anything acts or operates.
  • n. The act of representing another person; the manner in which one personates the character of another; representative character.
  • n. In a state of probation; liable to be called to account in case of misconduct.
  • n. Synonyms Carriage, Behavior, Conduct, Deportment, Demeanor, bearing, manner, manners, all denote primarily outward manner or conduct, but naturally are freely extended to internal states or activities. Carriage, the way of carrying one's self, may be mere physical attitude, or it may be personal manners, as expressing states of mind: we speak of a haughty or noble carriage, but not ordinarily of an ignoble, cringing, or base carriage. Behavior is the most general expression of one's mode of acting; it also refers particularly to comparatively conspicuous actions and conduct. Conduct is more applicable to actions viewed as connected into a course of life, especially to actions considered with reference to morality. Deportment is especially behavior in the line of the proprieties or duties of life: as, Mr. Turveydrop was a model of deportment; the scholars' rank depends partly upon their deportment. Demeanor is most used for manners as expressing character; it is a more delicate word than the others, and is generally used in a good sense. We may speak of lofty or gracious carriage; good, bad, wise, foolish, modest, conceited behavior; exemplary conduct; grand, modest, correct deportment; quiet, refined demeanor.

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

  • n. (behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people
  • n. manner of acting or controlling yourself
  • n. (psychology) the aggregate of the responses or reactions or movements made by an organism in any situation
  • n. the action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances


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

Middle English behavour, from behaven, to behave (on the model of havour, behavior, from Old French avoir, from avoir, to have); see behave.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Please help me. There are many different kinds of behavior, behaviour' the spell-checker prefers the UK version!.

    I would like to know how best to describe these units as a kind of phrase. They are not noun or verb phrases, nor do they sound like prepositional phrases.

    We may talk of 'addictive (behavior, behaviour'); dependent (behavior, behaviour'); dysfunctional (behavior, behaviour'); family (behavior, behaviour'); group (behavior, behaviour') ...

    Thank you.

    February 27, 2012