What is the definition of behaviour 1


[ bih-heyv-yer ]

/ bɪˈheɪv yər /

nounChiefly British.


Words nearby behaviour

behavioral pathogen, behavioral psychology, behavioral psychophysics, behavioral science, behaviorism, behaviour, behaviour therapy, behavioural contagion, behavioural science, behavioural sink, behaviourism

usage note for behaviour

See -or1.

Definition for behaviour (2 of 2)


[ bih-heyv-yer ]

/ bɪˈheɪv yər /


manner of behaving or acting.

Psychology, Animal Behavior.
  1. observable activity in a human or animal.
  2. the aggregate of responses to internal and external stimuli.
  3. a stereotyped, species-specific activity, as a courtship dance or startle reflex.

Often behaviors.a behavior pattern.

the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances: the behavior of tin under heat.

Also especially British, be·hav·iour.

Origin of behavior

1375–1425;behave + -ior (on model of havior, variant of havor < Middle French (h)avoir ≪ Latinhabēre to have); replacing late Middle Englishbehavoure, behaver. See behave, -or1


be·hav·ior·al, adjectivebe·hav·ior·al·ly, adverbin·ter·be·hav·ior, nounin·ter·be·hav·ior·al, adjective

in·ter·be·hav·ior·al·ly, adverb

synonym study for behavior

1. Behavior,conduct,deportment,comportment refer to one's actions before or toward others, especially on a particular occasion. Behavior refers to actions usually measured by commonly accepted standards: His behavior at the party was childish.Conduct refers to actions viewed collectively, especially as measured by an ideal standard: Conduct is judged according to principles of ethics.Deportment is behavior related to a code or to an arbitrary standard: Deportment is guided by rules of etiquette. The teacher gave Susan a mark of B in deportment.Comportment is behavior as viewed from the standpoint of one's management of one's own actions: His comportment was marked by a quiet assurance.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for behaviour

  • The character and behaviour of plants would change, some for the better, some for worse.

    Margaret Thatcher Sounded the Alarm on Climate Change|David Frum|April 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST

  • These last furnished the clue to the behaviour of the crows.

    Birds of the Plains|Douglas Dewar

  • I was struck with his behaviour, but felt no alarm, for Marietta sat at work near me, apparently unconscious of what had passed.

    Tales from "Blackwood"|Various

  • Her behaviour subsequently was becoming the awful situation in which she was placed.

    The Chronicles of Crime or The New Newgate Calendar. v. 1/2|Camden Pelham

  • The behaviour of the eldest girl was so outrageously profligate, that she was about to be disposed of also.

    Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume I (of 2)|Harriet Martineau

  • His manifestations regarding Margaret's behaviour were the only exception to the kind, cheerful conduct of his whole life.

    Philip Winwood|Robert Neilson Stephens

British Dictionary definitions for behaviour




manner of behaving or conducting oneself

on one's best behaviourbehaving with careful good manners

  1. the aggregate of all the responses made by an organism in any situation
  2. a specific response of a certain organism to a specific stimulus or group of stimuli

the action, reaction, or functioning of a system, under normal or specified circumstances

Derived forms of behaviour

behaviouralorUSbehavioral, adjective

Word Origin for behaviour

C15: from behave; influenced in form by Middle English havior, from Old French havoir, from Latin habēre to have

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for behaviour



The actions or reactions of persons or things in response to external or internal stimuli.

The manner in which one behaves.

Other words from behavior


The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for behaviour


The actions displayed by an organism in response to its environment.

One of these actions. Certain animal behaviors (such as nest building) result from instinct, while others (such as hunting) must be learned.

The manner in which a physical system, such as a gas, subatomic particle, or ecosystem, acts or functions, especially under specified conditions.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with behaviour


see on one's best behavior.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.