Try Our Apps


Gobble up these 8 terms for eating


[bih-heyv-yer] /bɪˈheɪv yər/
manner of behaving or acting.
Psychology, Animal Behavior.
  1. observable activity in a human or animal.
  2. the aggregate of responses to internal and external stimuli.
  3. a stereotyped, species-specific activity, as a courtship dance or startle reflex.
Often, behaviors. a behavior pattern.
the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances:
the behavior of tin under heat.
Also, especially British, behaviour.
Origin of behavior
late Middle English
1375-1425; behave + -ior (on model of havior, variant of havor < Middle French (h)avoirLatin habēre to have); replacing late Middle English behavoure, behaver. See behave, -or1
Related forms
behavioral, adjective
behaviorally, adverb
interbehavior, noun
interbehavioral, adjective
interbehaviorally, adverb
1. demeanor, manners; bearing, carriage. Behavior, conduct, deportment, comportment refer to one's actions before or toward others, especially on a particular occasion. Behavior refers to actions usually measured by commonly accepted standards: His behavior at the party was childish. Conduct refers to actions viewed collectively, especially as measured by an ideal standard: Conduct is judged according to principles of ethics. Deportment is behavior related to a code or to an arbitrary standard: Deportment is guided by rules of etiquette. The teacher gave Susan a mark of B in deportment. Comportment is behavior as viewed from the standpoint of one's management of one's own actions: His comportment was marked by a quiet assurance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for behavioral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
Word Origin and History for behavioral

1927, in psychology, from behavior + -al (1).



late 15c., essentially from behave, but with ending from Middle English havour "possession," a word altered (by influence of have) from aver, noun use of Old French verb aveir "to have."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
behavioral in Medicine

behavior be·hav·ior (bĭ-hāv'yər)

  1. The actions or reactions of persons or things in response to external or internal stimuli.

  2. The manner in which one behaves.

be·hav'ior·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
behavioral in Science
  1. The actions displayed by an organism in response to its environment.

  2. One of these actions. Certain animal behaviors (such as nest building) result from instinct, while others (such as hunting) must be learned.

  3. The manner in which a physical system, such as a gas, subatomic particle, or ecosystem, acts or functions, especially under specified conditions.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with behavioral


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for behavioral

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for behavioral