v. be·haved, be·hav·ing, be·haves
a. To conduct oneself or act in a specified way: One of the guests behaved badly at the party. Our old dog sometimes behaves like a puppy.
b. To conduct oneself or act 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 ©2020 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:
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