Meaning of “behave” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"behave" in British English

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behaveverb [ I ]

uk /bɪˈheɪv/ us /bɪˈheɪv/

B1 to act in a particular way:

She always behaves well/badly when her aunts come to visit.
Whenever there was a full moon he would start behaving strangely.
They behaved as if nothing had happened.

specialized science to show particular behaviour in a particular situation or under particular conditions:

They learn how particles behave in solids, liquids, and gases.
It is believed that animals behave differently before a natural disaster.

B1 to be good by acting in a way that has society's approval:

Did the children behave (themselves)?

More examples

  • I can't conceive how anyone could behave so cruelly.
  • Small children often behave aggressively.
  • I'm ashamed to be seen with you when you behave so badly!
  • Let's stay calm and try to behave like responsible adults.
  • I'd never behave like that in public.

(Definition of “behave” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"behave" in American English

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behaveverb [ I/T ]

us /bɪˈheɪv/

to act in a particular way, or to act in a way that is considered correct:

[ I ] The judge will instruct the jury on how it is to behave.

(Definition of “behave” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"behave" in Business English

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behaveverb [ I ]

uk /bɪˈheɪv/ us

to do something or happen in a particular way:

Commodities markets don't always behave in the way people expect.

(Definition of “behave” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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