behaviour /bɪˈheɪvjə / ‹US› behavior


I. noun [ mass noun]

1. the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others

he will vouch for her good behaviour
his insulting behaviour towards me.
[as modifier]
behaviour patterns.
[ count noun]
management is a set of techniques and behaviours for getting things done.
2. the way in which an animal or person behaves in response to a particular situation or stimulus

the feeding behaviour of predators.
3. the way in which a machine or natural phenomenon works or functions

the erratic behaviour of the old car.
II. phrases

be on one’s best behaviour
behave well in a social situation or when being observed.

warn them to be on their best behaviour.
– origin late Middle English: from behave, on the pattern of demeanour, and influenced by obsolete haviour from have.

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