monkey

[ muhng-kee ]
/ ˈmʌŋ ki /

noun, plural mon·keys.

verb (used without object), mon·keyed, mon·key·ing.

Informal. to play or trifle idly; fool (often followed by around or with).

verb (used with object), mon·keyed, mon·key·ing.

to imitate; ape; mimic.
to mock.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?

Did you collect all of last week’s words, but eftsoons forget what they mean? Don’t worry, we’re here to jog your memory. See how many words from the week of May 18 to 24 you can get right!
Question 1 of 7
weal

Idioms for monkey

    a monkey on one's back, Slang.
    1. an addiction to a drug or drugs; narcotic dependency.
    2. an enduring and often vexing habit or urge.
    3. a burdensome problem, situation, or responsibility; personal affliction or hindrance.
    make a monkey out of, to cause to appear ridiculous; make a fool of.Also make a monkey of.

Origin of monkey

1520–30; apparently < Low German; compare Middle Low German Moneke (name of son of Martin the Ape in the story of Reynard), equivalent to mone- (akin to obsolete French monne she-ape, Spanish, Portuguese mono ape) + -ke diminutive suffix

OTHER WORDS FROM monkey

mon·key·ish, adjectivemon·key·ish·ly, adverbmon·key·ish·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for monkey on one's back

monkey
/ (ˈmʌŋkɪ) /

noun

verb

(intr; usually foll by around, with, etc) to meddle, fool, or tinker
(tr) rare to imitate; ape

Word Origin for monkey

C16: perhaps from Low German; compare Middle Low German Moneke name of the ape's son in the tale of Reynard the Fox
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with monkey on one's back (1 of 2)

monkey on one's back

1

Drug addiction, as in He'd had a monkey on his back for at least two years. [Slang; first half of 1900s]

2

A vexing problem or burden, as in This project has proved to be a monkey on my back—there seems to be no end to it. Both usages allude to being unable to shake off the animal from one's back.

Idioms and Phrases with monkey on one's back (2 of 2)

monkey

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.