noun (plural monkeys)
- 1A small to medium-sized primate that typically has a long tail, most kinds of which live in trees in tropical countries.
More example sentences
- Families Cebidae and Callitrichidae (or Callithricidae) ( New World monkeys, with prehensile tails), and Cercopithecidae ( Old World monkeys, without prehensile tails)
- It was a place where you can see wild monkeys living in the trees.
- By contrast, many Old World monkeys, such as baboons and macaques, live longer, start to reproduce later, and have more time between babies.
- If these differences had evolved in savannahs or forests, then they should be reflected in monkeys and apes that live in these habitats today.
- 1.1(In general use) any primate.More example sentences
- In general, monkeys are important figures in the mythologies of Asia.
- The answer is that the only other animal that comes with a pair of hands is a monkey, and monkeys aren't generally very efficient.
- This may reflect differences in forest ecology or between monkeys, but it does suggest caution about generalising from over simple models.
- 1.2A mischievous person, especially a child: where have you been, you little monkey!More example sentences
- Well, we've definitely heard of mischievous monkeys but Charlie is just cheeky, I think we can safely say.
- 1.3A person who is dominated or controlled by another (with reference to the monkey traditionally kept by an organ grinder).More example sentences
- That said, head office still seems to be populated by an unmanageable number of monkeys.
- I have read of accounts in the media of people being mistreated as a public servant, monkeys on computers, people leaving due to stress and mistreatment.
- The lesson was that if you present your party as the prospective junior government partner, voters will opt for the organ grinder rather than the monkey.
verb (monkeys, monkeying, monkeyed)[no object] (monkey around/about) Back to top
- 1Behave in a silly or playful way.More example sentences
- My brother and I were monkeying around and he was pretending to try to throw me to the ground.
- So don't monkey around - break out the pen and paper, and write away!
- This is just the place for those who like to monkey around.
- 1.1 (monkey with) Tamper with: don’t monkey with that lock!More example sentences
- Simon can't resist monkeying with some of the arrangements either.
- The CIA, Graham said, were monkeying with democracy.
- I figure a superhuman spirit is capable of monkeying with natural phenomena at times.
make a monkey of (or out of) someone
- Humiliate someone by making them appear ridiculous.More example sentences
- Desmond said, ‘You'll never make a monkey out of me!’
- The meteorologists make a monkey of me once again.
- They've finally made a monkey out of me at this website.
a monkey on one's back
- • informal A burdensome problem.More example sentences
- The North, understandably still stuck in an anti-British mode, couldn't bring itself to throw this particular monkey off its back.
- It was like having a monkey on your back that you just can't get rid of.
- Is retro therefore almost a monkey on your back when trying to get your new product off the ground?
- A dependence on drugs.More example sentences
- ‘Yup, it's an addiction, a monkey on my back,’ he said.
- More example sentences
- That's the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people.
- ‘That is why I need to act,’ explained Barcél, with a crude sweep of his monkeyish hands.
mid 16th century: of unknown origin, perhaps from Low German.