noun, plural mon·keys.
verb (used without object), mon·keyed, mon·key·ing.
verb (used with object), mon·keyed, mon·key·ing.
- monk seal,
- monk's cloth,
- monk's pepper tree,
- monk, george,
- monkey bars,
- monkey block,
- monkey bread,
- monkey bridge,
- monkey business
- an addiction to a drug or drugs; narcotic dependency.
- an enduring and often vexing habit or urge.
- a burdensome problem, situation, or responsibility; personal affliction or hindrance.
Origin of monkey
Examples from the Web for monkey
This has occurred with bean bag chairs, children's sweaters, and the Coco The Monkey Teething Toy.9-Year Old With an Uzi? America Is Tougher on Toys Than Guns|Cliff Schecter|August 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The monkey seemed to be sticking his tongue out at me in defiance.
The monkey avatar stared back at me, its tongue lolling out of its mouth.
By the time I discovered I had an impostor, “monkey boy” had been actively tweeting for weeks.
He was often called the Monkey Man because of the primates and other wild animals he kept on his 21-acre property.
The table was all set and Bridget was just going to ring the bell, but the monkey didn't wait for her.
And then he gave us a perfect and laughable description of what must be some creature of the monkey tribe.Adventures in New Guinea|James Chalmers
But, like all other monkeys, he does not quite understand where that monkey conceals itself when he peeps over the glass.The Speech of Monkeys|R. L. Garner
The moment after, the terrible creature touched the floor as lightly as a monkey, on his hands.The Law and the Lady|Wilkie Collins
The monkey was so startled at the cry that he fell upon the sharp bamboo and was killed.Philippine Folk Tales|Mabel Cook Cole
- to be troubled by a persistent problem
- US and Canadianto be addicted to a drug
Word Origin for monkey
1520s, likely from an unrecorded Middle Low German *moneke or Middle Dutch *monnekijn, a colloquial word for "monkey," originally a diminutive of some Romanic word, cf. French monne (16c.); Middle Italian monnicchio, from Old Italian monna; Spanish mona "ape, monkey." In a 1498 Low German version of the popular medieval beast story "Roman de Renart" ("Reynard the Fox"), Moneke is the name given to the son of Martin the Ape; transmission of the word to English might have been via itinerant entertainers from the German states.
The Old French form of the name is Monequin (recorded as Monnekin in a 14c. version from Hainault), which could be a diminutive of some personal name, or it could be from the general Romanic word, which may be ultimately from Arabic maimun "monkey," literally "auspicious," a euphemistic usage because the sight of apes was held by the Arabs to be unlucky [Klein]. The word would have been influenced in Italian by folk etymology from monna "woman," a contraction of ma donna "my lady."
Monkey has been used affectionately for "child" since c.1600. As a type of modern popular dance, it is attested from 1964. Monkey business attested from 1883. Monkey suit "fancy uniform" is from 1886. Monkey wrench is attested from 1858; its figurative sense of "something that obstructs operations" is from the notion of one getting jammed in the gears of machinery (cf. spanner in the works). To make a monkey of someone is attested from 1900. To have a monkey on one's back "be addicted" is 1930s narcotics slang, though the same phrase in the 1860s meant "to be angry." There is a story in the Sinbad cycle about a tormenting ape-like creature that mounts a man's shoulders and won't get off, which may be the root of the term. In 1890s British slang, to have a monkey up the chimney meant "to have a mortgage on one's house." The three wise monkeys ("see no evil," etc.) are attested from 1926.
1859, "to mock, mimic," from monkey (n.). Meaning "play foolish tricks" is from 1881. Related: Monkeyed; monkeying.
In addition to the idioms beginning with monkey
- monkey business
- monkey on one's back
- fool (monkey) around
- make a fool (monkey) of
- more fun than a barrel of monkeys
- throw a monkey wrench