frivolous or mischievous behavior.
improper or underhanded conduct; trickery.
Origin of monkey business
An Americanism dating back to 1880–85
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for monkey businessabsurdity
Examples from the Web for monkey business
Historical Examples of monkey business
I'm going to talk to you man to man, Leon, and no monkey-business about it nor nothing.
Monkey-business on company time is only for Big Shots like him; not for small fry such as you.
British Dictionary definitions for monkey business
informal mischievous, suspect, dishonest, or meddlesome behaviour or acts
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Idioms and Phrases with monkey business
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]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.