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From Late Latin conductus (defense, escort), from Latin conductus, perfect passive participle of condūcō (bring together); see also conduce. Doublet of conduit.



conduct (countable and uncountable, plural conducts)

  1. The act or method of controlling or directing.
    Synonyms: control, guidance, management
    • 1785, William Paley, The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy:
      There are other restrictions imposed upon the conduct of war, not by the law of nature primarily, but by the laws of war first, and by the law of nature as seconding and ratifying the laws of war.
    • 1843, Henry Brougham, Political Philosophy
      the conduct of the state, the administration of its affairs, its policy, and its laws, are for more uncertain
  2. Skillful guidance or management.
    Synonym: leadership
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], part 1, 2nd edition, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, OCLC 932920499; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire; London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act I, scene ii:
      If thou wilt ſtay with me renowmed man,
      And lead thy thouſand horſe with my conduct,
      Beſides thy ſhare of this Egyptian prize,
      Thoſe thouſand horſe shall ſweat with martiall ſpoyle
      Of conquered kingdomes, and of Cities ſackt, []
    • 1722 (first printed) Edmund Waller, Poems, &c. written upon several occasions, and to several persons
      Conduct of armies is a prince's art.
    • 1769, William Robertson, The history of the reign of Emperor Charles V
      [] attacked the Spaniards [] with great impetuosity, but with so little conduct, that his forces were totally routed.
    • 1841 February–November, Charles Dickens, “Barnaby Rudge”, in Master Humphrey’s Clock, volume III, London: Chapman & Hall, [], OCLC 633494058, chapter 49:
      At the head of that division which had Westminster Bridge for its approach to the scene of action, Lord George Gordon took his post; with Gashford at his right hand, and sundry ruffians, of most unpromising appearance, forming a kind of staff about him. The conduct of a second party, whose route lay by Blackfriars, was entrusted to a committee of management
  3. Behaviour; the manner of behaving.
    Synonyms: bearing, behavior, deportment, demeanor
    Good conduct will be rewarded and likewise poor conduct will be punished.
  4. (of a literary work) Plot.
    Synonyms: action, plot, storyline
    • c. 1800, Thomas Macaulay, Essays, critical and miscellaneous
      The book of Job, indeed, in conduct and diction, bears a considerable resemblance to some of his dramas.
  5. (obsolete) Convoy; escort; person who accompanies another.
  6. (archaic) Something which carries or conveys anything; a channel; an instrument; a conduit.

Derived terms[edit]



conduct (third-person singular simple present conducts, present participle conducting, simple past and past participle conducted)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To lead, or guide; to escort.
    Synonyms: accompany, escort, guide, lead, steer, belead
  2. (transitive) To lead; to direct; to be in charge of (people or tasks)
    Synonyms: direct, lead, manage, oversee, run, supervise, belead
    The commander conducted thousands of troops.
    to conduct the affairs of a kingdom
    • 1855–1858, William H[ickling] Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip the Second, King of Spain, volume (please specify |volume=I to III), Boston, Mass.: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, OCLC 645131689:
      the Turks, however efficient they may have been in field operations, had little skill as engineers, and no acquaintance with the true principles of conducting a siege
  3. (transitive, reflexive) To behave.
    Synonyms: act, behave, carry on
    He conducted himself well.
  4. (transitive) To serve as a medium for conveying; to transmit (heat, light, electricity, etc.)
    Synonyms: carry, convey, transmit
    • 1975, Clive M. Countryman, Heat-Its Role in Wildland Fire Part 2
      Water and many other liquids do not conduct heat well. Wildland fuels in general, wood, and wood products conduct heat slowly, and so do soil and rocks.
    • 2011 September 20, Matt Day and Tatyana Shumsky, “Copper Falls to 2011 Lows”, in Wall Street Journal[1]:
      The metal easily conducts electricity and doesn't rust in water, properties that have made it valuable in uses from household plumbing and electric wiring
  5. (transitive, music) To direct, as the leader in the performance of a musical composition.
    • 2006, Michael R. Waters with Mark Long and William Dickens, Lone Star Stalag: German Prisoners of War at Camp Hearne
      For a while, Walter Pohlmann, a well-known German conductor, conducted the orchestra in Compound 3. Later, Willi Mets, who had conducted the world-renowned Leipzig Symphony Orchestra, conducted the Compound 3 orchestra.
  6. (intransitive) To act as a conductor (as of heat, electricity, etc.); to carry.
  7. (transitive) To carry out (something organized)
    • 2011 September 11, “Fugro, Royal Philips Electronics: Benelux Equity Preview”, in San Francisco Chronicle[2]:
      The world's largest surveyor of deepwater oil fields won a contract to conduct a survey of the French Gulf of Lion to map sand reserves.

Derived terms[edit]


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