Open main menu




From Late Latin conductus (defense, escort), from Latin conductus, perfect passive participle of condūcō (bring together); see also conduce and conduit.



conduct (countable and uncountable, plural conducts)

  1. The act or method of controlling or directing
    • 1785, William Paley, The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy
      There are other restrictions imposed upon the conduct of war, not by the law of nature primarily, but by the laws of war first, and by the law of nature as seconding and ratifying the laws of war.
    • (Can we date this quote by Ld. Brougham?)
      the conduct of the state, the administration of its affairs
  2. Skillful guidance or management; generalship.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Edmund Waller
      Conduct of armies is a prince's art.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Robertson
      [] attacked the Spaniards [] with great impetuosity, but with so little conduct, that his forces were totally routed.
  3. The manner of guiding or carrying oneself; personal deportment; mode of action; behavior.
    Good conduct will be rewarded and likewise poor conduct will be punished.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Macaulay
      All these difficulties were increased by the conduct of Shrewsbury.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      What in the conduct of our life appears / So well designed, so luckily begun, / But when we have our wish, we wish undone?
  4. (of a literary work) Plot; action; construction; manner of development.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Macaulay
      the book of Job, in conduct and diction
  5. (obsolete) Convoy; escort; guard; guide.
  6. That which carries or conveys anything; a channel; a conduit; an instrument.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      although thou hast been conduct of my chame




conduct (third-person singular simple present conducts, present participle conducting, simple past and past participle conducted)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To lead, or guide; to escort.
    • 1634, John Milton, Comus
      I can conduct you, lady, to a low / But loyal cottage, where you may be safe.
  2. (transitive) To lead; to direct; to manage
    The commander conducted thousands of troops.
    to conduct the affairs of a kingdom
  3. (transitive) (reflexively to conduct oneself) To behave.
    He conducted himself well.
  4. (transitive) To serve as a medium for conveying; to transmit (heat, light, electricity, etc.)
    • 2011 September 20, Matt Day and Tatyana Shumsky, “Copper Falls to 2011 Lows”, in Wall Street Journal[1]:
      The metal easily conducts electricity and doesn't rust in water, properties that have made it valuable in uses from household plumbing and electric wiring
    • 1975, Clive M. Countryman, Heat-Its Role in Wildland Fire Part 2
      Water and many other liquids do not conduct heat well. Wildland fuels in general, wood, and wood products conduct heat slowly, and so do soil and rocks.
  5. (transitive, music) To direct, as the leader in the performance of a musical composition.
    • 2006, Michael R. Waters with Mark Long and William Dickens, Lone Star Stalag: German Prisoners of War at Camp Hearne
      For a while, Walter Pohlmann, a well-known German conductor, conducted the orchestra in Compound 3. Later, Willi Mets, who had conducted the world-renowned Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, conducted the Compound 3 orchestra.
  6. (intransitive) To act as a conductor (as of heat, electricity, etc.); to carry.
  7. (transitive) To carry out (something organized)
    • 2011 September 11, “Fugro, Royal Philips Electronics: Benelux Equity Preview”, in San Fransisco Chronicle[2]:
      The world's largest surveyor of deepwater oil fields won a contract to conduct a survey of the French Gulf of Lion to map sand reserves.



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.