(1)   Any of various long-tailed primates (excluding the prosimians)
(2)   One who is playfully mischievous


(3)   Do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly
"The old lady is usually mucking about in her little house"


Perhaps from } (attested as the name of the ape’s son in the tale of Reynard the Fox), probably a diminutive formation from ( > French ), itself from or , probably shortened from , from (conjectured to have been applied in a euphemistic sense). Compare , .


  1. Any of several members of the infra-order Simiiformes of primates, generally smaller than the apes, and distinguished from them by having a tail and cheek pouches.
  2. A mischievous child.
    Stop misbehaving, you little monkey!
  3. Five-hundred pounds sterling.
  4. A person or the role of the person on the sidecar platform of a motorcycle involved in sidecar racing.
  5. A person with minimal inteligence and/or (bad) looks .
  6. A dark-skinned person, especially a person of, or primarily of, Negro descent. See also nigger and/or jigaboo.
  7. A face card in blackjack


  1. To meddle; to mess with; to interfere; to fiddle.
    Please don't monkey with the controls if you don't know what you're doing.

Related terms

  • code monkey
  • I'll be a monkey's uncle
  • make a monkey out of
  • monkey's uncle
  • monkey around
  • monkey bars
  • monkey boy