be.hav.ior /bɪheɪvjər / American English noun [uncountable]
be‧hav‧iour /bɪheɪvjə(r)/ British English noun [uncountable]
1 [uncountable] the way that sb behaves, especially towards other people. the things that a person or animal does
- good/bad behaviour He had his jail term cut for good behaviour. | It is important to reward good behaviour.
- social/sexual/criminal behaviour
- His behaviour towards her was becoming more aggressive.
- I know you were upset, but that doesn't excuse your behaviour.
- Parents can influence the behaviour of their children.
- Parents should reinforce good behaviour.
- his behaviour towards his parents
- Her behaviour is often appalling.
- He was notorious for his violent and threatening behaviour.
- She complained of her boss’s inappropriate behavior towards her.
2 [uncountable , countable] the way a person, an animal, a plant, a chemical, etc. behaves or functions in a particular situation, the things that something in science normally does.
- behaviour of the behaviour of dolphins/chromosomes | the behaviour of human chromosomes
- Animals in zoos often display disturbed behaviour.
- a report of suspicious behaviour
- a new study looking at the behaviour and attitudes of young men
- the effects of alcohol on human behaviour
- studying human and animal behaviour
- (technical) to study learned behaviours
Idiom: be on your best behaviour: to behave in the most polite way you can (in order to please someone) I want you both to be on your best behaviour at Grandad’s.
behavioural adjective: behavioural science
- good/bad The boys were suspended from school for bad behaviour. | His good behaviour did not last long.
- normal/abnormal They thought their son’s behaviour was perfectly normal. | Were there any signs of abnormal behaviour?
- aggressive/violent/threatening His behavior became increasingly violent.
- antisocial antisocial behaviour such as spitting and swearing in public
- acceptable/unacceptable This sort of behavior is completely unacceptable.
- appropriate/inappropriate formal (= suitable/not suitable for that situation ) Within the official school framework there are penalties for inappropriate behaviour.
- human/animal behaviour the scientific study of human behaviour | detailed observations of animal behaviour
- criminal behaviour There are many theories as to what causes criminal behaviour.
- sexual behaviour a survey of human sexual behaviour
- behaviour + noun
- behaviour problems She teaches children with behaviour problems.
- standards of behaviour declining standards of behaviour among young people | It’s a parent’s job to instruct children in acceptable standards of behaviour.
- a pattern of behaviour Different patterns of behaviour exist in different cultures.
- change your behaviour (also modify your behaviour formal) He has no reason to change his behaviour.
- influence sb’s behaviour The genes we inherit influence our behaviour.
- Behavior the way someone behaves : Chemicals added to food may be responsible for children’s bad behaviour. | Tatsuya apologized for his behaviour towards me.
- conduct formal the way someone behaves in public or in their job – used mainly in official or legal contexts : Bates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct (= noisy and violent ) . | The committee found him guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct .
- manner the way someone behaves when they are talking to or dealing with other people, which is shown in their expression, their voice etc : She had a pleasant friendly manner. | Suddenly his whole manner changed, and he started shouting. | His initial manner towards her had been rather formal.
- demeanour British English , demeanor American English formal the way someone looks and behaves, which shows you something about their character or feelings : She maintained a calm demeanour at all times. | Wenger’s demeanour suggested that he was not happy with the situation.
- antics someone’s behaviour – used when you think it is silly, funny, strange, or annoying : The drunken antics of some English football fans has brought shame on the country. | The actor is becoming known for his increasingly bizarre off-screen antics.
- Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition ,© Cambridge University Press 2013
- Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5th Edition ,© Pearson Education Limited 2009
- Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition