be·have / biˈhāv/ • v. [intr.] 1. act or conduct oneself in a specified way, esp. toward others: he always behaved like a gentleman you should behave affectionately toward the patient. ∎ (of a machine or natural phenomenon) work or function in a specified way: each car behaves differently.2. [often in imper.] conduct oneself in accordance with the accepted norms of a society or group: you can go as long as you behave (behave oneself) they were expected to behave themselves.