a monkey on someone's back

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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.

Word by Word Definitions

monkey play
  1. : a nonhuman primate mammal with the exception usually of the lemurs and tarsiers

  2. : a person resembling a monkey

  3. : a ludicrous figure : dupe

  1. : mimic, mock

  2. : to act in a grotesque or mischievous manner

  3. : fool, trifle

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

back play
  1. : the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine

  2. : the body considered as the wearer of clothes

  3. : capacity for labor, effort, or endurance

  1. : to, toward, or at the rear

  2. : in or into the past : backward in time

  3. : to or at an angle off the vertical

  1. : being at or in the back

  2. : distant from a central or main area

  3. : articulated at or toward the back of the oral passage : formed deep within the mouth

  1. : to support by material or moral assistance

  2. : substantiate

  3. : to assume financial responsibility for


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