v. con·duct·ed, con·duct·ing, con·ducts
1. To direct the course of; manage or control: a police officer who conducts traffic; a scientist who conducts experiments.
2. To lead or guide: conducted the tourists through the museum.
3. Music To direct the performance of (an orchestra or chorus, for example).
4. To serve as a medium for conveying; transmit: Some metals conduct heat.
5. To comport (oneself) in a specified way: The students conducted themselves with dignity throughout the ceremony.
1. To act as a director or conductor.
2. To show the way; lead.
1. The way a person acts, especially from the standpoint of morality and ethics.
2. The act of directing or controlling; management.
3. Obsolete A guide; an escort.
[Middle English conducten, from Latin condūcere, conduct-, to lead together; see CONDUCE.]
Synonyms: conduct, direct, manage, control, steer1
These verbs mean to exercise direction over an activity: Conduct applies to the guidance, authority, and responsibility of a single person or group: The judge conducted the hearing. The committee conducted an investigation into the scandal.
Direct stresses regulation to ensure proper planning and implementation: The seasoned politician directed a brilliant political campaign.
Manage suggests ongoing guidance of a person, group, or organization: It takes skill to manage a large hotel.
Control stresses regulation and usually domination through restraint: The harbormaster controls the number of boats allowed inside the breakwater.
Steer suggests guidance that controls direction or course: I deftly steered the conversation away from politics. See Also Synonyms at accompany, behavior.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus