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[bih-heyv] /bɪˈheɪv/
verb (used without object), behaved, behaving.
to act in a particular way; conduct or comport oneself or itself:
The ship behaves well.
to act properly:
Did the child behave?
to act or react under given circumstances:
This plastic behaves strangely under extreme heat or cold.
verb (used with object), behaved, behaving.
to conduct or comport (oneself) in a proper manner:
Sit quietly and behave yourself.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English behaven (reflexive). See be-, have
Related forms
unbehaving, adjective
well-behaved, adjective
1. perform, acquit oneself, deport oneself. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for behaved
  • It's often a puzzle to me how one plant can be well-behaved and valued in one area but a thug in another region.
  • What has been more difficult to determine, however, is how they behaved as they ate.
  • Well-behaved, always friendly and generally goofy happy dogs.
  • Witnesses said that the brothers behaved oddly after the crash.
  • But the papers might have lasted longer if they'd behaved a bit differently.
  • He said, jokingly, that he hoped that everyone would be well behaved.
  • Most of the police that night behaved professionally.
  • Her left side was mostly paralyzed, and she behaved strangely.
  • If neutrinos behaved the way they are described in the film, then there wouldn't be much to film.
  • Badly behaved children are therefore the fault of the parents and well behaved children are a result of good parenting.
British Dictionary definitions for behaved


(intransitive) to act or function in a specified or usual way
to conduct (oneself) in a specified way: he behaved badly towards her
to conduct (oneself) properly or as desired: the child behaved himself all day
Word Origin
C15: see be-, have
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for behaved



early 15c., from be- intensive prefix + have in sense of "to have or bear (oneself) in a particular way, comport" (cf. German sich behaben, French se porter). Cognate Old English compound behabban meant "to contain," and alternatively the modern sense of behave might have evolved from behabban via a notion of "self-restraint." Related: Behaved; behaving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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