Behaviour or Behavior | Meaning, Spelling & Examples
Behaviour and behavior are two different spellings of the noun referring to the way a person, animal, other organism, or machine acts or functions. It’s related to the verb “behave” meaning “conduct oneself” or “act.”
The spelling varies depending on whether you’re using UK or US English:
- In UK English, “behaviour” (with a “u”) is standard.
- In US English, “behavior” (with no “u”) is the correct spelling.
Behavioural vs. behavioral
The regional spelling distinction carries over to related forms of the words, including the adjective “behavioural/behavioral” and the adverb “behaviourally/behaviorally.”
- In UK English, “behavioural” and “behaviourally” are correct.
- In US English, “behavioral” and “behaviorally” are standard.
Best behaviour or best behavior
Best behaviour/best behavior is part of the expression “be on your best behaviour/behavior,” meaning “behave very well.” The possessive determiner used in the expression varies depending on the person being referred to. The spelling distinction also applies to this phrase.
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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
US vs. UK spellings
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