- frivolous or mischievous behavior.
- improper or underhanded conduct; trickery.
Origin of monkey business
Related Words for monkey businessabsurdity, disobedience, foolishness, hanky-panky, horseplay, inanity, insanity, lunacy, misbehavior, mischief, monkeyshine, nonsense, poppycock, prank, silliness, stupidity, craziness, tommyrot, absurdness, antics
Examples from the Web for monkey business
Historical Examples of monkey business
- informal mischievous, suspect, dishonest, or meddlesome behaviour or acts
Silly, mischievous, or deceitful conduct, as in The teacher told the children to cut out the monkey business and get to work, or I don't trust that lawyer—there's some monkey business going on. This expression transfers the tricks of monkeys to human behavior. [Late 1800s]