v. be·haved, be·hav·ing, be·haves
a. To conduct oneself in a specified way, especially in relation to others; exhibit behavior: The child behaved badly at the party.
b. To conduct oneself in a proper way: I told the child to behave.
2. To act, react, function, or perform in a particular way: This fabric behaves well even in hot weather.
1. To conduct (oneself) properly: Did you behave yourself at the party?
2. To conduct (oneself) in a specified way: The witness behaved herself with great calmness.
[Middle English behaven : be-, be- + haven, to have; see HAVE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.