v. con·duct·ed, con·duct·ing, con·ducts
1. To direct the course of; manage or control: a police officer who conducts traffic; a scientist who conducts experiments.
2. To lead or guide: conducted the tourists through the museum.
3. Music To direct the performance of (an orchestra or chorus, for example).
4. To serve as a medium for conveying; transmit: Some metals conduct heat.
5. To comport (oneself) in a specified way: The students conducted themselves with dignity throughout the ceremony.
1. To act as a director or conductor.
2. To show the way; lead.
1. The way a person acts, especially from the standpoint of morality and ethics.
2. The act of directing or controlling; management.
3. Obsolete A guide; an escort.
[Middle English conducten, from Latin condūcere, conduct-, to lead together; see CONDUCE.]
Synonyms: conduct, direct, manage, control, steer1
These verbs mean to exercise direction over an activity: Conduct applies to the guidance, authority, and responsibility of a single person or group: The judge conducted the hearing. The committee conducted an investigation into the scandal.
Direct stresses regulation to ensure proper planning and implementation: The seasoned politician directed a brilliant political campaign.
Manage suggests ongoing guidance of a person, group, or organization: It takes skill to manage a large hotel.
Control stresses regulation and usually domination through restraint: The harbormaster controls the number of boats allowed inside the breakwater.
Steer suggests guidance that controls direction or course: I deftly steered the conversation away from politics. See Also Synonyms at accompany, behavior.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.