on (one's) best behavior

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on (one's) best behavior

Being very polite or exercising exceptionally good manners. Primarily heard in US. Now, you kids must be on your best behavior for your Auntie this weekend! Good morning, class. I hope everyone was on their best behavior for the substitute teacher yesterday.
See also: behavior, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

on one's best behavior

being as polite as possible. When we went out, the children were on their best behavior. I try to be on my best behavior all the time.
See also: behavior, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on one's best behavior

Also, on one's good behavior. Very polite, as in Mother told the children to be on their best behavior during Grandma's visit, or The whole staff were on their good behavior while the client inspected the premises. [Late 1600s]
See also: behavior, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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