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.

Dictionary Entries Near a monkey on someone's back

Cite this Entry

“A monkey on someone's back.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/a%20monkey%20on%20someone%27s%20back. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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