1. manner of behaving or acting.
  2. 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.
  3. Often behaviors. a behavior pattern.
  4. the action or reaction of any material under given circumstances: the behavior of tin under heat.

late 15c., essentially from behave, but with ending from Middle English havour “possession,” a word altered (by influence of have) from aver, noun use of Old French verb aveir “to have.”


  1. The actions or reactions of persons or things in response to external or internal stimuli.
  2. The manner in which one behaves.

  1. The actions displayed by an organism in response to its environment.
  2. One of these actions. Certain animal behaviors (such as nest building) result from instinct, while others (such as hunting) must be learned.
  3. The manner in which a physical system, such as a gas, subatomic particle, or ecosystem, acts or functions, especially under specified conditions.

see on one’s best behavior.

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