- The definition of behave means to act in a certain manner to control yourself so your actions are acceptable and considered appropriate by society.
An example of behave is when you do what you are told at school, using your indoor voice and following all directions.
A woman teaching her dog to behave.Licensed from iStockPhoto
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb be·haved, be·hav·ing, be·haves verb, intransitive
- a. To conduct oneself in a specified way: The child behaved badly at the party.b. To conduct oneself in a proper way: I told the child to behave.
- To act, react, function, or perform in a particular way: This fabric behaves well even in hot weather.
- To conduct (oneself) properly: Did you behave yourself at the party?
- To conduct (oneself) in a specified way: The witness behaved herself with great calmness.
Origin: Middle English behaven : be-, be- + haven, to have; see have.