• Behavior


    Alternative forms


    From behave + -ior, apparently in simulation of havior, haviour, havour. Compare Scots havings ("behavior"), from have ("to behave").

    Full definition of behavior



    (usually uncountable; plural behaviors)
    1. (uncountable) Human conduct relative to social norms.
    2. (uncountable) The way a living creature behaves or acts generally.
    3. (uncountable, informal) A state of probation about one's conduct.He was on his behavior when her family visited.
    4. (countable) An instance of the way a living creature behaves.
    5. (countable, uncountable, biology, psychology) Observable response produced by an organism.
    6. (uncountable) The way a device or system operates.

    Usage notes

    Adjectives often applied to "behavior": human, animal, physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, organizational, corporate, social, collective, parental, interpersonal, sexual, criminal, appropriate, inappropriate, correct, incorrect, right, wrong, good, bad, acceptable, unacceptable, poor, ethical, unethical, moral, immoral, responsible, irresponsible, normal, odd, deviant, abnormal, violent, abusive, aggressive, offensive, defensive, rude, stupid, undesirable, verbal, nonverbal, learned, professional, unprofessional, adaptive, compulsive, questionable, assertive, disgusting, self-destructive.

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