Definition of behavior in English:


(British behaviour)


  • 1The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward others.

    ‘good behavior’
    ‘his insulting behavior toward me’
    • ‘It was tempting to condemn him for his attitude and his behaviour towards the girl.’
    • ‘Set a good example with your courteous behavior toward the parents of kids on the other team.’
    • ‘This forward behavior toward an adult earned him another frown from his older brother.’
    • ‘He complained that the doctor's behaviour towards him had been inappropriate.’
    • ‘We then had to consider whether permanent exclusion was a reasonable response to that behaviour.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of any self harm or of threatening or aggressive behaviour towards others.’
    • ‘If someone is to be responsible for this unacceptable behavior, it had to be him.’
    • ‘Teaching is undermined by poor behaviour and teachers need practical support.’
    • ‘Nella was still angry at their patronising and arrogant behaviour towards her in those times.’
    • ‘Seldom have we witnessed a more shameless display of rude and vulgar behavior towards an invited guest.’
    • ‘He was a gentleman through and through, and his behaviour towards her had never been less than proper.’
    • ‘They often show aggressive behavior toward health professionals when the truth of the symptoms is challenged.’
    • ‘This could lead to writing a code of conduct to guide their behaviour with each other.’
    • ‘Thinking helps us to consider what is, or is not, appropriate behavior towards fellow human beings.’
    • ‘It was totally unacceptable behaviour towards people who had given you long and loyal service.’
    • ‘The tendency toward formal behavior is strengthened by the tradition of using titles.’
    • ‘If this fails to moderate bad behaviour, officers will visit the family home.’
    • ‘The other is that the signing of the pledge was a form of indirectly enforced good behaviour.’
    • ‘I don't think it is wrong, or a waste of time, to point out the virtue of manners and good behaviour.’
    • ‘This pattern of behavior continued until it was time for the first quarter's report card.’
    conduct, way of behaving, way of acting, deportment, bearing, etiquette
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    1. 1.1The way in which an animal or person acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus.
      ‘the feeding behavior of predators’
      • ‘Hunger has driven him to abandon all social pretence and he describes his own animal behaviour.’
      • ‘For the life of me, I cannot understand his behaviour in response to the drugs question.’
      • ‘There have been documented cases of strange animal behavior prior to earthquakes.’
      • ‘Man's truly instinctive behaviours were apparently fewer and simpler than those of his relatives.’
      • ‘It's not surprising that the social behavior of humans and chimps is similar, he said.’
      • ‘This variation cannot be met by changing foraging behavior like a period with bad weather.’
      • ‘Very little is actually known about the movement behaviours of these animals.’
      • ‘These have been identified as basic modes of behavior in other conflict situations.’
      • ‘This behaviour certainly did not suggest a bird capable of sustained flight on migration.’
      • ‘If you treat them like animals, their behavior will begin to deteriorate.’
      • ‘Few other studies have correlated the influence of the full moon with behaviour of animals or insects.’
      • ‘Animals alter their behavior to avoid a variety of different types of predators.’
      • ‘The key is knowing the behaviour pattern of horses and giving clear and consistent instructions.’
      • ‘Doctors are certainly bad at altering their own behaviour in response to logic.’
      • ‘The female strategy has a strong influence on the stability of the male behavior.’
      • ‘Focal animal sampling was used to collect data on the behavior of captive birds.’
      • ‘Data on ancient color could tell us about the environment and behavior of animals.’
      • ‘All of these factors can be very important in the organization of social behavior.’
      • ‘He was simply mirroring my behavior, responding in kind to whatever I was doing.’
      • ‘Migration is an intrinsic behavior of birds that winter in one location and breed in another.’
    2. 1.2The way in which a natural phenomenon or a machine works or functions.
      ‘the erratic behavior of the old car’
      • ‘Ants exemplify many behaviors and phenomena which are common to other insect species.’
      • ‘Mary's frustration turned into rage, and her behavior became increasingly erratic.’
      • ‘This is so the otters' food can be hidden to encourage their natural foraging behaviour.’
      • ‘We see this as a valuable perspective on reproductive behavior in natural habitats.’
      • ‘Failing to do that leaves the system open to potential behavior that falls short of the mark.’
      • ‘In times of crisis, companies tend to fall back on their habitual patterns of behavior.’
      • ‘When staff became concerned by his erratic behaviour and obscene language they called police.’
      • ‘Children may have to suppress their natural behaviours and tendencies to conform and fit in, which can cause undue distress.’
      • ‘The variability of behaviors in natural settings may be a result of several factors.’
      • ‘You only understand how human behavior functions if you look at both sides.’
      • ‘What would a roomful of machines exhibiting this behavior sound like?’
      • ‘Perhaps this is because they mimic evolved solutions, so their behaviour seems more natural.’
      • ‘In addition, the meaning of many social and emotional behaviours may not become apparent until the child is older.’
      • ‘The behavior of the machine is fascinating, but it has little to do with the concept of counting.’
      • ‘I gave up after much erratic behaviour on her part and distanced myself from fear.’
      • ‘Knowing these natural instincts and behaviors can give you some insight training your cat.’
      • ‘Soon though, my growing depression and erratic behaviour put a terrible strain on our love.’
      • ‘In fact operating transnationally should be a natural and normal behaviour.’
      functioning, action, performance, operation, working, running, reaction, response
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Late Middle English: from behave, on the pattern of demeanour (an earlier spelling of demeanor), and influenced by obsolete haviour from have.