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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 misbehaving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • That youngster of mine has not been misbehaving herself, I hope?

    Sisters Three Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • He knew, as well as did Mr. Waddle or Polly, that he was misbehaving himself.

    Ralph the Heir Anthony Trollope
  • It struck her now all of a sudden that she had been misbehaving.

    Hard Cash Charles Reade
  • They do so, they will tell you, to prevent pussy from misbehaving in the house.

    Cats W. Gordon Stables
  • Yes; this bairn Anne, Mrs. Ross, as you see, has been misbehaving herself.

    Merkland Mrs. Oliphant
  • But I got to misbehaving, and got discharged from there before I was twenty-one.

British Dictionary definitions for misbehaving


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 misbehaving



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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