a monkey on someone's back

idiom

Definition of a monkey on someone's back

: a problem that someone cannot easily get rid of or solve : a problem or situation that makes someone unhappy and that lasts for a long time His drug addiction has been a monkey on his back for years.

Comments on a monkey on someone's back

What made you want to look up a monkey on someone's back? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a topic to which one constantly reverts

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!