- (formerly) a boy employed on warships to carry gunpowder from the magazine to the guns.
- powderman(def 1).
Origin of powder monkey
First recorded in 1675–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for powder monkey
Then you must be a powder-monkey with me; you can hand powder up, if you can do nothing else.The King's Own
Captain Frederick Marryat
This being thus, we therefore clearly see The Powder-Monkey heads some pedigree.A Phenomenal Fauna
I would have been rather an English powder-monkey or a swab in that great victory than an emperor out of it.The Admiral
So I put him down again, and there was his little lordship as busy as any powder-monkey, handing up the powder to the gunners.A Voyage round the World
Only two days since I met him swaggering on the beach, and he threatened to impress me on the Tartar for a powder-monkey.
- (formerly) a boy who carried powder from the magazine to the guns on warships
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