American English

Definition of behave verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they behave
    he / she / it behaves
    past simple behaved
    -ing form behaving
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  1. 1[intransitive] + adv./prep. to do things in a particular way synonym ACT The doctor behaved very unprofessionally. They behaved very badly toward their guests. He behaved like a true gentleman. She behaved with great dignity. He behaved as if/though nothing had happened. They behave differently when you're not around. In spoken English, people often use like instead of as if or as though:He behaved like nothing had happened.
  2. 2[intransitive, transitive] to do things in a way that people think is correct or polite Will you kids just behave! She doesn't know how to behave in public. The children always behave for their father. behave yourself I want you to behave yourselves while I'm away. opposite misbehave
  3. 3-behaved (in adjectives) behaving in the way mentioned well-/badly-behaved children
  4. 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. (technology) to naturally react, move, etc. in a particular way a study of how metals behave under pressure
  5. Idioms
    behave/act as if you own the place, think you own the place (disapproving)
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    to behave in a very confident way that annoys other people, for example by telling them what to do
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: behave