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Denotation vs. Connotation

behave

[bih-heyv] /bɪˈheɪv/
verb (used without object), behaved, behaving.
1.
to act in a particular way; conduct or comport oneself or itself:
The ship behaves well.
2.
to act properly:
Did the child behave?
3.
to act or react under given circumstances:
This plastic behaves strangely under extreme heat or cold.
verb (used with object), behaved, behaving.
4.
to conduct or comport (oneself) in a proper manner:
Sit quietly and behave yourself.
Origin of behave
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English behaven (reflexive). See be-, have
Related forms
unbehaving, adjective
well-behaved, adjective
Synonyms
1. perform, acquit oneself, deport oneself.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for well-behaved
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was such a well-behaved, solemn little audience, that never gave me an inkling of its liking or its loathing.

    Ladies-In-Waiting Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Although hardly sober, this woman was modest and well-behaved.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Student trade was something he catered to only so long as it came through the well-bred and well-behaved of their number.

  • She's a bright child, and a well-behaved one, generally speaking.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • You werent invited here, and well-behaved people always wait to be asked before they go visiting.

    Elsie at Ion Martha Finley
British Dictionary definitions for well-behaved

well-behaved

adjective (well behaved when postpositive)
1.
conducting oneself in a satisfactory manner

behave

/bɪˈheɪv/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to act or function in a specified or usual way
2.
to conduct (oneself) in a specified way: he behaved badly towards her
3.
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 well-behaved
adj.

1590s, from well (adv.) + past participle of behave.

behave

v.

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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well-behaved in Technology


1. [primarily MS-DOS] Said of software conforming to system interface guidelines and standards. Well-behaved software uses the operating system to do chores such as keyboard input, allocating memory and drawing graphics. Oppose ill-behaved.
2. Software that does its job quietly and without counterintuitive effects. Especially said of software having an interface spec sufficiently simple and well-defined that it can be used as a tool by other software. See cat.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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