Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

behave

 - definition
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb behave pronunciation in British English /bɪˈheɪv/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theybehave
he/she/itbehaves
present participlebehaving
past tensebehaved
past participlebehaved
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to do things in a particular way

    The children behaved very badly.

    a badly behaved dog

    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.

protologism

a new word or phrase invented in the hope that it will become generally used

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

garbage patch

a collection of debris, mostly consisting of plastic, which moves around in the sea …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog