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[mis-bi-heyv] /ˌmɪs bɪˈheɪv/
verb (used without object), misbehaved, misbehaving.
to behave badly or improperly:
The children misbehaved during our visit.
verb (used with object), misbehaved, misbehaving.
to conduct (oneself) without regard for good manners or accepted moral standards:
Several of the guests misbehaved themselves.
Origin of misbehave
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English; see mis-1, behave
Related forms
misbehaver, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for misbehave
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he was not drunk,—not as yet so drunk as to misbehave himself openly.

    Ayala's Angel Anthony Trollope
  • And if you try to hook it, or misbehave anyways, you get put in solitary.

    Pippin; A Wandering Flame Laura E. Richards
  • Mr. Bonteen, in his troubled spirit, certainly did misbehave himself.

    Phineas Redux Anthony Trollope
  • He discovered that when his mother or father was in the room she was terrified lest he should misbehave.

    Jeremy Hugh Walpole
  • If I misbehave, she should make a pretty good bargaining point with Ihelos.

  • If you don't hurry she will get old enough to misbehave herself.

    The Heart's Kingdom Maria Thompson Daviess
  • Shall God and his holy angels see thee like a bedlam lay by thy reason and misbehave thyself?

  • To allow the child to misbehave without instantly making it unpleasantly conscious of the fact would be to spoil it.

British Dictionary definitions for misbehave


to behave (oneself) badly
Derived Forms
misbehaver, noun
misbehaviour (ˌmɪsbɪˈheɪvjə) noun
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 misbehave

"conduct oneself improperly," late 15c.; see mis- (1) + behave. Related: Misbehaved; misbehaving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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