Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various long-tailed, medium-sized members of the order Primates, including the macaques, baboons, guenons, capuchins, marmosets, and tamarins and excluding the anthropoid apes and the prosimians.
  • n. One who behaves in a way suggestive of a monkey, as a mischievous child or a mimic.
  • n. The iron block of a pile driver.
  • n. Slang A person who is mocked, duped, or made to appear a fool: They made a monkey out of him.
  • n. Slang Drug addiction: have a monkey on one's back.
  • intransitive v. Informal To play, fiddle, trifle, or tamper with something.
  • intransitive v. Informal To behave in a mischievous or apish manner: Stop monkeying around!
  • transitive v. To imitate or mimic; ape.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.
  • n. A mischievous child.
  • n. Five hundred pounds sterling.
  • n. A person or the role of the person on the sidecar platform of a motorcycle involved in sidecar racing.
  • n. A person with minimal intelligence and/or (bad) looks.
  • n. A face card.
  • n. A menial employee who does a repetitive job.
  • v. To meddle; to mess with; to interfere; to fiddle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. In the most general sense, any one of the Quadrumana, including apes, baboons, and lemurs.
  • n. Any species of Quadrumana, except the lemurs.
  • n. Any one of numerous species of Quadrumana (esp. such as have a long tail and prehensile feet) exclusive of apes and baboons.
  • n. A term of disapproval, ridicule, or contempt, as for a mischievous child.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A small trading vessel of the sixteenth century.
  • v. To act or treat as a monkey does; to ape; to act in a grotesque or meddlesome manner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. 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.
  • n. An epithet applied to any one, especially to a boy or girl, in either real or pretended disapproval: sometimes expressing endearment.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A small crucible used in glass-making.
  • n. A certain sum of money: in the United States, $500; in Great Britain, £500: used especially in betting.
  • n. A kind of bustle formerly worn by women. See the quotation.
  • n. Same as water-monkey.
  • n. A fluid composed of two parts of chlorhydric acid (generally called spirits of salt by workmen) and one part of zinc, used in soldering.
  • n. To drink rum or other liquor.
  • To act in an idle or meddlesome manner; trifle; fool: as, don't monkey with that gun.
  • To imitate as a monkey does; ape.
  • n. In mining, an appliance for automatically gripping or letting go the rope in rope haulage.
  • n. plural In the Australian bush, a sheep-shearer's name for sheep.
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one who is playfully mischievous
  • v. do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly
  • v. play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly
  • n. any of various long-tailed primates (excluding the prosimians)

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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". (Wiktionary)

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.

    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

  • 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

  • As the monkey has only one goal, to gratify itself via the base instincts of sex, food, deification, sleep, regardless of any negative effect such activities may have on it's surroundings (either social or environmental), the monkey is the embodiment of mankind's EVIL nature.

    All Monkeys Are Evil

  • The Selenarchic families must feel sore pressed, he thought, when they stooped to politics-what they called monkey dealings.

    The Stars Are Also Fire

  • What he does is this: when he finds a fallen cocoa-nut, he begins tearing away the thick husk and fibre with his strong claws; and he knows perfectly well which end to tear it from, namely, from the end where the three eye-holes are, which you call the monkey's face, out of one of which you know, the young cocoa-nut tree would burst forth.

    Madam How and Lady Why

  • Plus, I like any company with the word "monkey" in its name.

    Forbes.com: News

  • You referring to her as a "monkey" is equally classless (pardon the spelling).

    Republican senator won't meet with Sotomayor

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A slang term for £500. Common in parts on London, England

    June 26, 2009

  • If you watch this video over and over and over, you will definitely become hypnotized.

    April 21, 2009

  • Ominidi (hominids), sometimes grandi scimmie (great monkeys).

    April 20, 2009

  • Really, Pro? How are terms like "the great apes" translated?

    April 20, 2009

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

    April 19, 2009

  • Turns out we ARE monkeys!

    April 19, 2009

  • Croatian for the @ symbol.

    December 4, 2008

  • Nice link, bilby. Thought-provoking stuff.

    December 13, 2007

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

    December 13, 2007

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

    December 13, 2007

  • Monkeys.

    December 13, 2007

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

    September 7, 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

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

    September 6, 2007