behave - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlebehaving
past tensebehaved
past participlebehaved
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to do things in a particular way
    behave like:

    You behaved like a complete idiot!

    behave towards:

    This is not how you behave towards a child.

    behave as if/though:

    He behaved as though he hadn’t seen Ellie.

    behave in a sensible/alarming etc way:

    She was embarrassed at having behaved in such a childish way.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to be polite and not be rude or cause trouble

    Mum’s always telling me to behave when we go out.

    behave yourself:

    I hope the children behave themselves.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] science if a chemical substance, metal etc behaves in a particular way, it always reacts in that way because of the laws of science