The definition of behavior is the way a person or thing acts or reacts.(noun)
See behavior in Webster's New World College Dictionary
Origin: < behave by analogy with ME havior, property < OFr aveir < avoir, to have
See behavior in American Heritage Dictionary 4
Origin: Middle English behavour
Origin: , from behaven, to behave (on the model of havour, behavior, from Old French avoir, from avoir, to have); see behave.
See behavior in Ologies
the condition or state of being deviant or aberrant.
1. having a tendency towards, or being in a state of abnormality.
2. something that is abnormal.
a person who is characterized as being in some way abnormal.
impulsive, rash, or irresponsible actions or attitudes, especially in the sphere of public life. —adventurist, n. —adventuristic, adj.
the attitudes and behavior of one who exaggerates dangers or always expects disaster. —alarmist, n.
Obsolete, illogicality, unreasonableness. —alogic, alogical, adj.
the taking on of masculine habits and occupations by women.
the dress and conduct suitable to a pastoral existence, usually with reference to the idealized description of pastoral life in literature. —Arcadian, n., adj.
1. the state of having recently achieved wealth or position, especially by unscrupulous or unethical means.
2. behavior typical of arrivism. —arriviste, n., adj.
a severe self-deprivation for ethical, religious, or intellectual ends. —ascetic, n., adj.
1. a sad and gloomy individual.
2. an irritable and bad-tempered person. —atrabilious, adj.
the practice of striking poses, either to mask or to express personal feelings. —attitudinarian, n.
the characteristics attributed to attorneys; slyness; unscrupulousness.
an automatic or involuntary action. —automatist, n.
Rare. an abnormal fear of being egotistical, of referring to oneself.
Derogatory. the practices of Hindus who had only a slight English education. From bābū, a Hindi title equivalent to Sir or Mr.
showmanship or any activity taking advantage of people’s credulity or desire for sensational entertainment, as practiced by P.T. Barnum (1810-91).
the characteristics of a bashaw, especially tyranny and imperiousness.
attitudes or behavior typical of a beatnik or one who has rejected conventions of society.
a debased brutality, the opposite of humane activity: “I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” (Othello). See also sex.
strangeness or grotesqueness, especially strange or unconventional behavior.
behavior typical of a blackguard, characterized by use of obscene language and by roguish actions. —blackguardery, n. —blackguardly, adj.
the practice of individualistic, unconventional, and relaxed conduct, of ten in an artistic context, expressing disregard for or opposition to ordinary conventions. —bohemian, n., adj.
conduct characteristic of a stupid person or clown. —boobyish, adj.
a braggart’s usual activity; bragging. —braggartist, braggart, n.
the practice of advocating or engaging in brutality. —brutalitarian, adj.
the set of attributes that characterize a brute. —brutish, adj.
the actions of a bully.
the characteristics associated with one who advances his career even at the expense of his pride and dignity. —careerist, n.
an addiction to ceremonies or ritualism, especially in social and other nonreligious contexts. —ceremonialist, n.
the study of character, especially its development and its variations. —characterologist, n. —characterologic, characterological, adj.
the quality of having characteristics of a fraud. —charlatanic, adj.
a habit or custom; usual behavior.
foolish conceit or vanity; behavior typical of a coxcomb.
reckless or foolhardy behavior. Also called daredeviltry. —daredevil, n.
Obsolete, raving or maniacal behavior, as that of a bacchanal.
proper behavior; action that is seemly and in good taste. —decorous, adj.
the attitudes or behavior of one who stubbornly holds on to something, as an outdated view, untenable position, etc. —die-hard, n., adj.
an admiration of or interest in the arts, often used pejoratively to designate a shallow, undisciplined, or frivolous attraction. —dilettante, n., adj. —dilettantish, adj.
1. an action characterized as being donkeylike; foolishness.
2. the characteristic of being like a donkey. —donkeyish, adj.
idleness or indolence as a habit or regular practice.
the habit of being shabbily dressed. —dowdyish, adj.
the habit of performing actions in a histrionic manner.
a pedantic adherence to logically constructed rules.
an action or behavior that deviates from the norm; unpredictability in behavior.
1. a deliberately conspicuous or exaggerated mode of behavior, intended to gain attention.
2. the abnormal practice of indecent exposure. —exhibitionist, n. —exhibitionistic, adj.
laziness; the state of being idle. —faineant, adj.
the quality of being a fairy or having fairylike characteristics.
swaggering boastfulness; vainglorious speech or behavior. —fanfaron, n.
spiritual or intellectual dissatisfaction combined with a desire for power or material advantage. After Johann Faust (c.1480-c.1538), German scholar portrayed by Marlowe and Goethe. —faustian, adj.
Rare. evil attitudes and actions.
1. the quality or state of being a servant or toady.
2. behavior typical of flunkyism. —flunky, flunkey, n.
the condition of adhering solely to set formulas. —formularistic, adj.
behavior typical of an earlier time; old-fashioned or stuffy attitudes; fogyism.
the condition of having brotherly qualities. —fraternalist, n. —fraternalistic, adj.
the administrative duties of officials. —functionary, n., adj.
the habit of using organized violence to achieve one’s ends. —gangster, n.
boastful or bragging behavior. Also gasconadc.
1. inclined to laughter.
2. laugh-provoking in conduct or speech.
the extremely obsequious behavior of a sycophant. —gnathonic, adj.
1. a strong penchant for good food; gourmetism; epicurism.
2. gluttony. —gourmand, gormand, n., adj.
attitudes and actions modeled on the grandees, Iberian nobles of the highest rank.
the activities and style of living attributed to gypsies. —gypsy, gipsy, n. —gypsyish, gipsyish, adj.
a performance involving Harlequin or other characters of the Commedia dell’Arte; hence, buffoonery or clownish behavior. Also harlequinery.
the practice of retiring from society and living in solitude, based upon a variety of motives, including religious. Also called hermitry, hermitship. —hermitic, hermitical, adj.
a tendency to theatrical or exaggerated action. Also histriconism. —histrionics, n. —histrionic, adj.
the state of being a hobo or vagrant.
a dedication to taking holidays.
lawless behavior or conduct typical of a hooligan.
looking or acting in some way like a horse. —horsy, horsey, adj. —horsily, adv.
any behavior attributed to the Hottentots, in particular, a kind of stammering or stuttering.
ill-bred, boisterous, or tomboyish behavior in a woman. —hoyden, n. , —hoydenish, adj.
1. pretentious behavior or attitudes.
2. imposing or deceptive behavior. —humbug, humbugger, n.
an obsolete physiological explanation of health, disease, and behavior, asserting that the relative proportions of four elemental bodily fluids or humors (blood-sanguinity, phlegm-sluggishness, black bile-melancholy, and yellow bile-choler) determined a person’s physical and mental constitution. —humoral, humoural, adj.
division of patriotic loyalties, ascribed by some to foreign-born citizens in the United States.
an idiosyncrasy or personal mannerism or peculiarity.
a mannerism, action, or form of behavior peculiar to one person or group. —idiosyncratic, idiosyncratical, adj.
lack of shame or modesty.
1. indecorous, improper, or unseemly behavior.
2. an indecorous thing or action.
the customs or traditions of Indians, especially American Indians. —Indianist, n.
the quality of revolting against established authority. —insurrectionist, n., adj. —insurrectionary, adj.
a tendency to irritability and sudden fits of anger. Also called irascibleness. —irascible, adj.
the quality of having traits or characteristics like those of Samuel Johnson. —Johnsonian, n., adj.
Often pejorative. a mode of action or thought characterized by apparent youthfulness. —juvenile, n., adj.
the actions and characteristics of a landlord. —landlordly, adj.
the state of being noisy, rowdy, or disorderly. —larrikin, adj., n.
a tendency to unrestrained, often licentious or dissolute conduct. Also libertinage. —libertine, n., adj.
the pursuit or adulation of celebrities. —lionize, v.
1. an inclination to dispute or disagree with others, esp. through civil suits.
2. argumentativeness. —litigious, adj.
the customs and characteristics of London and of those who reside there. —Londonish, adj.
a tendency to foppishness. —macaroni, maccaroni, n.
behavior characteristic of a maenad or bacchante; raging or wild behavior in a woman. —maenadic, adj.
1. the state or quality of being a maid, a young or unmarried woman.
2. behavior or attitude typical of maidism.
a style of action, bearing, thought, or speech peculiar to an individual or a special group. See also art. —mannerist, n. —manneristic, adj.
an emphasis on scrupulous attention to the details of methods and procedures in all areas of life. —martinet, n. —martinetish, adj.
1. a tendency in temperament to be mawkishly sentimental and tearfully emotional.
2. a degree of drunkenness characterized by mawkish emotionalism. —maudlin, adj.
behavior typical of that portrayed in a melodrama, i.e., characterized by extremes of emotion.
1. the state or quality of having a lively, fickle, volatile, or erratic attitude or charaeter.
2. an instance of such behavior. —mercurial, adj.
1. the state or quality of being a weak and ineffectual person.
2. behavior or attitudes typical of a such a person.
an intense (and sometimes injurious) tendency to mimicry.
boastful and pretentious behavior; quackery or any actions typical of a mountebank. Also mountebankery.
behavior characteristic of a boorish person.
the principle or practice of mutual dependence as the condition of individual and social welfare. —mutualist, n.
weak or insipid behavior or attitude. —namby-pamby, n., adj.
a quality or trait distinctive of Negroes.
conduct characteristic of a ninny, or silly fool. —ninnyish, adj.
a rootless, nondomestic, and roving lifestyle. —nomadic, adj.
the practice of going nude. —nudist, n., adj.
the characteristics and customs of people situated in western regions, especially the Western Hemisphere, as western European countries and the United States. —Occidentalist, n.
the condition of resembling an ogre in actions and characteristics. —ogreish, adj.
the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances, with little regard for principles. —opportunist, n. —opportunistic, adj.
the habits, qualities, and customs of Oriental peoples. —Orientalist, Orientality, n.
mindless imitation. Also called parrotry.
the adherence to an exclusive subject, interest, or topic. —particularist, n. —particularistic, adj.
1. behavior or attitudes typical of one who has recently acquired wealth or social position.
2. the state or quality of being a parvenu or upstart. —parvenu, n., adj.
1. the state of being a member of one of the original citizen families of ancient Rome.
2. the state of being noble or high born. —patriciate, n.
the quality of having common manners, character, or style. —plebeian, n., adj.
a tendency to conduct expressing indifference, nonchalance, or lack of concern. —pococurante, pococurantist, n. —pococurante, adj.
the characteristics associated with being a coward or wretch. Also called poltroonery. —poltroonish, adj.
a penchant for meddlesomeness and officiousness. Also polypragmacy, polypragmaty. —polypragmatist, n. —polypragmatic, adj.
one whose conduct is unchaste, licentious, or lewd.
the study of human behavior and conduct. —praxeological, adj.
excessive fastidiousness or over-refinement in language or behavior.
hasty or rash action, behavior, etc.; undue or ill-considered haste. —precipitant, adj.
the strict adherence to correctness of behavior. —prigger, n. —priggish, adj.
1. dissolute or immoral behavior.
2. reckless and extravagant spending or behavior. —profligate, adj.
the actions and qualities of a protagonist. —protagonist, n.
a tendency to peevish, petulant, or insolent conduct.
a method of affecting behavior by assisting in the choice of desirable life goals. —psychagogue, n.
affected or impertinent behavior; conceit.
a tendency to absurdly chivalric, visionary, or romantically impractical conduct. —quixotic, quixotical, adj.
Rare. a tendency to railing and quibbling. —rabulistic, rabulous, adj.
the condition of being reactionary or resistant to change. —reactionist, n., adj.
the characteristics of a reporter.
the qualities of a reunion or social gathering. —reunionist, n.
the state of being revolutionary. —revolutionary, revolutionist, n. —revolutional, revolutionary, adj.
the excessive adherence to a routine. —routinist, n.
noisy, quarrelsome, or disorderly conduct or behavior. —rowdy, n., adj.
behavior typical or characteristic of a brutal and violent person. —ruffian, n.
diabolical behavior. —Satanist, n.
the condition of having uncivilized or primitive qualities. —savagedom, n.
the practices characteristic of a schoolboy. —schoolboyish, adj.
the characteristics and behavior of a scoundrel. —scoundrelly, adj.
a person who seeks solitude or removes himself from the society of others; a recluse.
the quality of having sensation. —sensorial. adj.
Archaic. an ecstatic devotion, especially religious.
1. a person who delivers sermons.
2. a person who adopts a preaching attitude.
a tendency to whimsical conduct in accord with absurd theories from past ages. [Allusion to the actions of Walter, father of the hero in Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.]
a tendency to conduct marked by outbursts of strong emotion. —spasmodist, n. —spasmodic, spasmodical, adj.
activity characteristic of the observance of Sunday as a holy day.
the condition of having qualities or traits like those of a superman. —supermanly, adj.
a love of luxury. [Allusion to Sybaris, a Greek colony in Italy not-ed for its luxury.] —sybarite, n. —sybaritic, adj.
the practice of self-serving or servile flattery. Also called sycophancy. —sycophant, n. —sycophantic, adj.
the condition of having coinciding emotions in two or more people.
Obsolete. a form of teasing or harassment in which a hope of some good or benefit is instilled in the victim, only to be repeatedly dashed and the reward shown to be unattainable.
hypocrisy. [Allusion to Molière’s hypocritical hero, Tartuffe.] Also called tartuffery.
a tendency to actions marked by exaggerations in speech or behavior. Also called theatricism.
the habit of extreme neatness.
a personal despair leading to misanthropy. [Allusion to Shake-speare’s Timon of Athens.]
a fawning flattery, obsequiousness, or sycophancy. —toady, n. —toadyish, adj,
formal or superficial compliance with a law, requirement, convention, etc.
the conduct characteristic of a tomboy, a boyish girl. —tomboyish, adj.
Obsolete, the attitudes and actions of the Turks.
the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge or competence. —ultracrepidarian, n., adj.
1. the tendency to wander from place to place without a settled home; nomadism.
2. the life of a tramp; vagrancy. Also called vagabondage. —vagabond, n., adj.
the malicious destruction or defamation of public or private property. —vandal, vandalization, n. —vandalish, adj.
the actions or thoughts of members of a vanguard, those at the forefront of a movement, fad, etc. —vanguardist, n.
the affection for or emulation of Victorian tastes or thoughts.
the actions characteristic of a Viking, i.e., savagery, rapaciousness, etc.
the compulsion to seek sexual gratification by secretively looking at sexual objects or acts; the actions of a Peeping Tom. —voyeur, n. —voyeuristic, adj.
Rare. the state or quality of being foxlike, especially crafty or cunning. —vulpine, adj.
behavior or character typical of a vulture, especially in the figurative sense of being rapacious. —vulturous, adj.
the quality of having the traits of a werewolf.
a penchant for rowdyism. [Allusion to Swift’s characters in Gulliver’s Travels.]
1. the state or quality of being a yokel or country bumpkin.
2. behavior, language, etc, typical of a yokel.
the style of a zany or buffoon.
a tendency to undue or excessive zeal; fanaticism.
1. abnormal zeal.
2. morbid jealousy. —zelotypic, adj.
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