Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various tailed primates of the suborder Anthropoidea, including the macaques, baboons, capuchins, and marmosets, and excluding the apes.
  • noun A nonhuman ape. Not in scientific use.
  • noun One who behaves in a way suggestive of a monkey, as a mischievous child or a mimic.
  • noun The iron block of a pile driver.
  • noun Slang A person who is mocked, duped, or made to appear a fool.
  • noun Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a person with dark skin.
  • intransitive verb To play, fiddle, trifle, or tamper with something.
  • intransitive verb To behave in a mischievous or apish manner.
  • intransitive verb To imitate or mimic; ape.
  • idiom (monkey on one's back) An addiction to a drug.
  • idiom (monkey on one's back) An object of persistent worry or obsession.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To act in an idle or meddlesome manner; trifle; fool: as, don't monkey with that gun.
  • To imitate as a monkey does; ape.
  • noun In mining, an appliance for automatically gripping or letting go the rope in rope haulage.
  • noun plural In the Australian bush, a sheep-shearer's name for sheep.
  • noun A local name for the cinder-notch of the dam in an iron-making blast-furnace, through which the slag or cinder can be allowed to flow out as it accumulates in the smelting process. It is placed on the side of the furnace, and about 30 or 40 inches below the level of the twyers where the blast is introduced in furnaces of modern size.
  • noun A quadrumanous mammal of the order Primates and suborder Anthropoidea; a catarrhine or platyrrhine simian; any one of the Primates except man and the lemurs; an ape, baboon, marmoset, etc.
  • noun An epithet applied to any one, especially to a boy or girl, in either real or pretended disapproval: sometimes expressing endearment.
  • noun A pile-driving instrument with two handles, raised by pulleys, and guided in its descent so as to cause it to fall on the head of a pile and drive it into the ground; a fistuca; a beetlehead.
  • noun A sort of power-hammer used in ship-building for driving bolts, composed of a long pig of iron traversing in a groove, which is raised by pulleys, and let fall on the spot required.
  • noun A small crucible used in glass-making.
  • noun A certain sum of money: in the United States, $500; in Great Britain, £500: used especially in betting.
  • noun A kind of bustle formerly worn by women. See the quotation.
  • noun Same as water-monkey.
  • noun A fluid composed of two parts of chlorhydric acid (generally called spirits of salt by workmen) and one part of zinc, used in soldering.
  • noun To drink rum or other liquor.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun In the most general sense, any one of the Quadrumana, including apes, baboons, and lemurs.
  • noun Any species of Quadrumana, except the lemurs.
  • noun Any one of numerous species of Quadrumana (esp. such as have a long tail and prehensile feet) exclusive of apes and baboons.
  • noun A term of disapproval, ridicule, or contempt, as for a mischievous child.
  • noun The weight or hammer of a pile driver, that is, a very heavy mass of iron, which, being raised on high, falls on the head of the pile, and drives it into the earth; the falling weight of a drop hammer used in forging.
  • noun A small trading vessel of the sixteenth century.
  • noun (Naut.) A half-decked boat used on the River Thames.
  • noun (Naut.) a small single block strapped with a swivel.
  • noun (Bot.) a plant of the genus Mimulus; -- so called from the appearance of its gaping corolla.
  • noun (Naut.) a light gaff attached to the topmast for the better display of signals at sea.
  • noun a short closely fitting jacket, worn by sailors.
  • noun (Naut.) a second and lighter rail raised about six inches above the quarter rail of a ship.
  • noun [Slang, U.S.] monkey trick.
  • noun a mischievous prank.
  • noun See Gin block, under 5th Gin.
  • verb To act or treat as a monkey does; to ape; to act in a grotesque or meddlesome manner.
  • verb [Colloq.] to handle in a meddlesome manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any member of the clade Simiiformes not also of the clade Hominoidea containing humans and apes, from which they are usually, but not universally, distinguished by smaller size, a tail, and cheek pouches.
  • noun informal A mischievous child.
  • noun UK, slang Five hundred pounds sterling.
  • noun slang A person or the role of the person on the sidecar platform of a motorcycle involved in sidecar racing.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle Low German Moneke (compare Old French Monequin), name of the son of Martin the Ape in Reynard the Fox, from Old Spanish mona 'mona monkey', shortening of mamona, variant of maimón, from Arabic ميمون (maimūn) 'monkey', literally 'blessed', used to ward off the monkey's bad luck. Possibly from Sanskrit "Markat".

Examples

  • After a few minutes the little neighbor girl saw it from her side of the wall and started screaming and yelling *little monkey, little monkey* and it ran away.

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • After a few minutes the little neighbor girl saw it from her side of the wall and started screaming and yelling *little monkey, little monkey* and it ran away.

    Adventures in Bolivia

  • Five-eighth Jamie Lyon had played in last year's loss and the 2001 premiership defeat with Parramatta and was happy to get his title monkey off his back.

    The Roar - Your Sports Opinion

  • Five-eighth Jamie Lyon had played in last year's loss and the 2001 premiership defeat with Parramatta and was happy to get his title monkey off his back.

    The Roar - Your Sports Opinion

  • Five-eighth Jamie Lyon had played in last year's loss and the 2001 premiership defeat with Parramatta and was happy to get his title monkey off his back.

    The Roar - Your Sports Opinion

  • So Abu the monkey is the start of the zombie virus??

    POTD: Zombie Disney Characters Cosplay | /Film

  • This coupled with the other case where someone referred to Michelle Obama's ancestors as a monkey is the reason why the GOP is losing minorities big time.

    Racist e-mail aimed at Obama raises hackles in Tennessee

  • Not only was it marginally better for them mentally and physically, it would give them some fresh perspective on their work, a break from what I call the monkey house.

    Gunn’s Golden Rules

  • Not only was it marginally better for them mentally and physically, it would give them some fresh perspective on their work, a break from what I call the monkey house.

    Gunn’s Golden Rules

  • Not only was it marginally better for them mentally and physically, it would give them some fresh perspective on their work, a break from what I call the monkey house.

    Gunn’s Golden Rules

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • If you listen to this word over and over and over, you sort of become hypnotized.

    September 6, 2007

  • I think that voice is the same subliminal temptress that makes me want to consider buying those miracle products "as seen on TV." Just tender enough to be compelling; but with an edge that commands obedience. "Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?"

    September 6, 2007

  • Wow. All this from "monkey"? You guys are farther gone than I thought. ;-)

    September 7, 2007

  • Monkeys.

    December 13, 2007

  • "Some of the monkeys read Nietzsche." Indeed. Thanks, bilby!

    December 13, 2007

  • The guy who made that was following John's instructions!

    December 13, 2007

  • Nice link, bilby. Thought-provoking stuff.

    December 13, 2007

  • Croatian for the @ symbol.

    December 4, 2008

  • Turns out we ARE monkeys!

    April 19, 2009

  • Well, yes.

    (This could be the right place to write that in Italian there is no word for ape.)

    April 19, 2009