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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English behaven, bihabben (to restrain, behave), 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).

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

behave (third-person singular simple present behaves, present participle behaving, simple past and past participle behaved)

  1. (reflexive) To conduct (oneself) well, or in a given way.
    You need to behave yourself, young lady.
    • Bible, 2 Maccabees ii. 21
      those that behaved themselves manfully
  2. (intransitive) To act, conduct oneself in a specific manner; used with an adverbial of manner.
    He behaves like a child whenever she's around.
    How did the students behave while I was gone?
    My laptop has been behaving erratically ever since you borrowed it.
    • 2014 April 21, “Subtle effects”, in The Economist, volume 411, number 8884:
      Manganism has been known about since the 19th century, when miners exposed to ores containing manganese, a silvery metal, began to totter, slur their speech and behave like someone inebriated.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To conduct, manage, regulate (something).
  4. (intransitive) To act in a polite or proper way.
    His mother threatened to spank him if he didn't behave.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Further readingEdit