What does monkey mean?

Definitions for monkey
ˈmʌŋ kimon·key

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word monkey.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. monkeynoun

    any of various long-tailed primates (excluding the prosimians)

  2. imp, scamp, monkey, rascal, rapscallion, scalawag, scallywagverb

    one who is playfully mischievous

  3. tamper, fiddle, monkeyverb

    play around with or alter or falsify, usually secretively or dishonestly

    "Someone tampered with the documents on my desk"; "The reporter fiddle with the facts"

  4. putter, mess around, potter, tinker, monkey, monkey around, muck about, muck aroundverb

    do random, unplanned work or activities or spend time idly

    "The old lady is usually mucking about in her little house"


  1. monkeynoun

    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. monkeynoun

    A mischievous child.

    Stop misbehaving, you little monkey!

  3. monkeynoun

    Five hundred pounds sterling.

  4. monkeynoun

    A person or the role of the person on the sidecar platform of a motorcycle involved in sidecar racing.

  5. monkeynoun

    A person with minimal intelligence and/or (bad) looks.

  6. monkeynoun

    A face card.

  7. monkeynoun

    A menial employee who does a repetitive job.

  8. monkeyverb

    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.

  9. Etymology: From Moneke (compare Monequin), name of the son of Martin the Ape in Reynard the Fox, from Old mona 'mona monkey', shortening of mamona, variant of maimón, from ميمون (maimūn) 'monkey', literally 'blessed', used to ward off the monkey's bad luck.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Monkeynoun

    Etymology: monikin, a little man.

    One of them shewed me a ring that he had of your daughter for a monkey: Tubal, it was my turquoise; I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys. William Shakespeare.

    More new-fangled than an ape; more giddy in my desires than a monkey. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    Other creatures, as well as monkeys, destroy their young ones by senseless fondness. John Locke, on Education.

    With glittering gold and sparkling gems they shine,
    But apes and monkeys are the gods within. George Granville.

    This is the monkey’s own giving out; she is persuaded I will marry her. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    Poor monkey! how wilt thou do for a father? William Shakespeare.


  1. Monkey

    Monkey is a US number-one hit song by George Michael. It was released as a single in 1988 and reached number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the UK Singles Chart. "Monkey" debuted at number 42 on 9 July 1988, reaching number-one for two weeks, beginning on 27 August 1988. "Monkey" became George Michael's sixth solo single reaching number-one in the US, and the fourth single to do so from the Faith album. George Michael joined Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston as three artists who all had four or more consecutive number one singles during the 1987–88 era, from one album (Michael Jackson scored five number-one hits from a single album (Bad) while Whitney Houston scored seven consecutive number-one hits from two albums). "Monkey" also reached number-one in the US Hot Dance Club Play chart for two weeks and became his first dance number-one. When the song was released as a single, the single version was remixed by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.


  1. monkey

    A monkey is a type of primate mammal characterized by its long tail, opposable thumbs, and often arboreal habits. They are known for their high intelligence and live in social groups in tropical or subtropical climates. Monkeys are divided into two broad categories: Old World monkeys that live in Africa and Asia, and New World monkeys that live in the Americas.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Monkeynoun

    in the most general sense, any one of the Quadrumana, including apes, baboons, and lemurs

  2. Monkeynoun

    any species of Quadrumana, except the lemurs

  3. Monkeynoun

    any one of numerous species of Quadrumana (esp. such as have a long tail and prehensile feet) exclusive of apes and baboons

  4. Monkeynoun

    a term of disapproval, ridicule, or contempt, as for a mischievous child

  5. Monkeynoun

    the weight or hammer of a pile driver, that is, a very heavy mass of iron, which, being raised on high, falls on the head of the pile, and drives it into the earth; the falling weight of a drop hammer used in forging

  6. Monkeynoun

    a small trading vessel of the sixteenth century

  7. Monkey

    to act or treat as a monkey does; to ape; to act in a grotesque or meddlesome manner

  8. Etymology: [Cf. OIt. monicchio, It. monnino, dim. of monna an ape, also dame, mistress, contr. fr. madonna. See Madonna.]


  1. Monkey

    A monkey is a primate of the Haplorrhini suborder and simian infraorder, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey, but excluding apes and humans. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys usually have tails. Tailless monkeys may be called "apes", incorrectly according to modern usage; thus the tailless Barbary macaque is called the "Barbary ape". The New World monkeys are classified within the parvorder of Platyrrhini, whereas the Old World monkeys form part of the parvorder Catarrhini, which also includes the hominoids. Thus, as Old World monkeys are more closely related to hominoids than they are to New World monkeys, the monkeys are not a unitary group.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Monkey

    mungk′i, n. a quadrumanous mammal of the order Primates—the term is loose, and may be conveniently restricted only to all the Primates exclusive of the Anthropoid Apes, thus including the Platyrrhini, or New-World monkeys, and the Catarrhiini, or Old-World monkeys: an ape: a name of contempt, esp. for a mischievous person, also of playful endearment: a heavy weight for driving piles: a large hammer for driving bolts: in betting slang, a sum of 500 pounds, or dollars in U.S.: a fluid consisting of chlor-hydric acid and zinc—generally called spirits of salt—used in the process of soldering:—pl. Monk′eys.—v.i. to meddle with anything.—v.t. to imitate as a monkey does.—ns. Monk′ey-bag, a small money-bag, hung round the sailor's neck; Monk′ey-block, a small swivel-block used in guiding running rigging; Monk′ey-board, the omnibus conductor's foot-board; Monk′ey-boat, a narrow, half-decked river-boat; Monk′ey-bread, the baobab-tree or its fruit; Monk′ey-en′gine, a kind of pile-driver having a ram or monkey working in a wooden frame; Monk′ey-flow′er, a flower of the mimulus kind; Monk′ey-gaff, a small gaff above the spanker-gaff for the flag; Monk′ey-grass, a coarse fibre yielded by the leaf-stalks of Attalea funifera, used for brooms, street sweeping-machine brushes, &c.; Monk′ey-hamm′er, a drop-press with a ram, which is raised and let drop freely; Monk′eyism, the qualities of the monkey; Monk′ey-jack′et, a close-fitting jacket, generally made of some stout, coarse material; Monk′ey-pot, the seed-vessel of several species of Lecythis, having a round lid; Monk′ey-pump, a straw let through a gimlet-hole into a cask for the purpose of sucking the liquor; Monk′ey-puzz′le, the Chili pine, Araucaria imbricata; Monk′ey-rail, a light rail above the quarter-rail; Monk′ey-shine (U.S.), a piece of tomfoolery; Monk′ey-tail, a short lever for training carronades: a piece of knotted rope by which to attach a hook, to save the hand from jamming; Monk′ey-wheel, a tackle-block over which runs a hoisting-rope; Monk′ey-wrench, a screw-key having a movable jaw.—Have, or Get, one's monkey up, to be angry; Suck the monkey, to drink liquor from a cask through an inserted tube: to drink from a coco-nut, filled surreptitiously with rum, &c. [Old It. monicchio, dim. of Old It. monna, nickname for an old woman, an ape, contr. of It. madonna, mistress.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. monkey

    A machine composed of a long pig of iron, traversing in a groove, which is raised by a pulley, and let fall suddenly on the head of large bolts for driving them. A larger kind is used in pile-driving. Also, a kind of wooden kid for grog. Also, in Queen Elizabeth's reign, a small trading vessel. Also, passion; as a man's "monkey is up." Also, a machine with which the hercules facilitates the welding of anchors.

Rap Dictionary

  1. monkeynoun

    Elizabeth, New Jersey. Home of unsigned rapper SubZero I represent Ea$twick, yeah the 908 -- SubZero (Touch It Freestyle)

Suggested Resources

  1. monkey

    Song lyrics by monkey -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by monkey on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Monkey

    From the Italian monicchio, the diminutive of monna, an ape. This word is often used as a verb--e.g. “Don’t monkey about on there,” meaning “Don’t play about or be up to monkeyish pranks.”

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'monkey' in Nouns Frequency: #2866

How to pronounce monkey?

How to say monkey in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of monkey in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of monkey in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of monkey in a Sentence

  1. Anthony Fauci:

    Someone who is probably a rural worker in the woods, in the forest, in the jungle gets bit by a mosquito who is infected with yellow fever but likely got it from a monkey, so it goes from animal to human, but it doesn't get into the population of Aedes aegypti, which are very frequent in the big cities like Rio de Janeiro.

  2. Jannique Martinez:

    My husband parked his truck on the street in front of his house, which is city property, and instead of music, he started playing monkey noises.

  3. Prince Gouano:

    I heard monkey noises.

  4. Andrew Gillum:

    The congressman let us know exactly where he was going to take this race the day after he won the nomination, the' monkey up' comment said it all and he's only continued in the course of his campaign to draw all the attention he can to the color of my skin.

  5. AiR Atman in Ravi:

    If there is garbage in your Mind, and it's full of joy, it's time to Tame your 'Monkey Mind' and make it into a Monk!

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for monkey

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for monkey »


Find a translation for the monkey definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"monkey." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/monkey>.

Discuss these monkey definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for monkey? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    a deliberately offensive act or something producing the effect of deliberate disrespect
    A efface
    B abash
    C summon
    D affront

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for monkey: